Gas explosion in northwest Portland forces business owners to re - KPTV - FOX 12

Gas explosion in northwest Portland forces business owners to rebuild

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AIR 12 over the scene after the natural gas explosion (KPTV) AIR 12 over the scene after the natural gas explosion (KPTV)
(KPTV) (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A gas explosion that rocked a northwest Portland neighborhood Wednesday afternoon injured eight people and destroyed three businesses.

Firefighters said a construction worker hit a gas line around 9 a.m. 

According to witnesses, people began evacuating the building that exploded about 20 minutes after the gas leak.

Businesses like Portland Bagelworks, Art Work Rebels Tattoo shop and Dosha Salon Spa crumbled to the ground.

Jason Kundell, owner of Art Works Rebels, said he is devastated over the loss of his 7-year business. He said he was driving to work when he started receiving calls about the explosion.

"I guess I was hoping as I got closer there was maybe a fire or something, but just to see the whole building just destroyed is sort of devastating. It's hard to be optimistic when 20 years of my life and stuff is completely destroyed," Kundell said.

Kundell has already started looking at other places to set up shop. He said he wants to stay in the area and hopes landlords will reach out out to him if they have space available.

"I love this neighborhood, my kids go to school as you know in this neighborhood, and I'd like to support the neighborhood and the neighborhood has already been supporting me," Kundell said. "The tattoo community has already been helping out immensely, with machines and power supplies and things like that and a lot of the local shops have offered places to work in the meantime."

Portland Bagelworks and Dosha Salon Spa suffered great losses as well. Just last year, Dosha Salon Spa suffered flooding and it took them six months to remodel.

NW Natural said as of 7:10 p.m., the area has been made safe and they have emergency response personnel monitoring the situation. Emergency response personnel will also continue to monitor throughout the night.

Eight people, including three firefighters and two police officers, were injured in the natural gas explosion.

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