Chief Matthew Tobia recounts his experience at the Miller Circle explosion earlier this month

When dealing with any crisis situation in Harrisonburg, Fire Chief Matthew Tobia has seen it all. Well, until recently. As someone who recognizes the impact of generation-defining events such as September 11th, 2001, Chief Tobia recognizes the impact that events such as the explosion that occurred this past Saturday in Miller Circle, can have on a community.

After a routine change in guard in the early morning for fire stations across the valley, a natural gas explosion occurred in Miller Circle, setting off the chain of events to call upon assistance from every emergency station in the region to surge upon the scene. Chief Tobia of course was one of the first to arrive on scene.

No evidence was found to link any criminal activities, but the accidental anomaly has triggered the city to go into rebuild mode for those businesses affected by the blast radius.

Although his modesty on his leadership is great, his determination to inform, unite, and progress as a community is even greater.