BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – An image is worth a thousand words and the one caught in the storm aftermath has a lot of people talking..including those who walked out of the Fitworks in Beavercreek after the tornado.
“It stuck out quite a bit, the fact the cross was up there and everything else was torn to shreds,” said Fitworks General Manager, Chad Florence.
What started as a typical Tuesday night at the gym, turned into an experience those inside would not forget.
“I saw the downpour turn into a spiral formation and I’m looking outside and I’m like Oh my God, I think it’s a tornado,” said Fitworks Personal Training General Manager, Jeremiah Hall.
“I saw it getting dark; the wind picked up a bit and I was standing right in front of the office window there and I heard a guy literally dart into the door and say “tornado,” and as soon as he said that I saw a tree coming and it went right through the window,” said Florence.
After that, Florence, jumped into action, getting the more than 100 people inside the gym to the back bathrooms.
“As we were running back there the roof literally came up and back down, fixtures came down..dust, drywall, and holes in the top of the building.. water started pouring down everywhere,” said Florence.
The intense moments only lasted seconds then they had a new problem.
“It kind of looked like smoke but upon smelling it, you are like alright, this definitely isn’t smoke it was like a gassy smell,” said Hall.
The storm had knocked off the air conditioning and heating units from the roof causing a natural gas leak. The team then turned around and evacuated the building, getting everyone else out safely.
“I wouldn’t say that it was so much as frighting as much as it was an adrenaline type feeling,” said Hall.
But the feeling many were left with as they looked back on the building……was one of amazement..that maybe the two beams standing alone were a sign of something bigger at play
“You look up there and the coolest part of the entire part is that this cross stands. Being a Christian man myself I can’t put it in any better words then it was miraculous…it was pretty cool,” said Hall.