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Restroom the only thing still standing after Pasadena gym destroyed in tornado

Four people had just finished a class when the unthinkable happened. The gym's restroom saved their lives.

PASADENA, Texas — A restroom is the only thing still standing at a Pasadena gym after a tornado ripped through the area during severe weather.

Four people were inside the Crossfit on Pansy Street. They had just finished a class and were ready to call it a day when the unthinkable happened.

"Total chaos, like chaos, and very loud," said the owner, Travis Smith. "The metal was crashing, the glass was breaking out. Extremely loud."

That's how he described the tornado that literally shredded his gym to pieces.

Chris, one of the people inside the gym at the time, said he saw the gym's overhead door blowing really hard before the tornado hit. He said he went to close it but seconds later the wind blew it off its tracks. The same thing happened to the overhead door in the back.

At that point, there was nothing else for Chris, Smith and the others to do but run. 

"We just all ran to the restrooms and watched the whole building fall," Smith said.

Fortunately, the restroom was the only piece of the building that was able to handle the strength of the tornado. 

Smith said when the coast was clear and they walked out, beams from the ceiling were sitting on top of the restroom.

"I don't get scared of much, but that's probably the scariest thing I've been through in my entire life," Chris said. 

Despite his business being completely destroyed, Smith is keeping a positive attitude.

"We can rebuild this and that will be fine, but yeah we're just extremely blessed to walk out of there," Smith said.

Several other buildings in Pasadena were destroyed in the tornado, including an animal shelter, apartment buildings and numerous homes

The Pasadena mayor reported only one injury from Tuesday's severe weather. The injury was not life-threatening. 

The Pasadena Salvation Army is setting up a relief station at the corner of Burke and Yellowstone at 6:30 p.m. for those impacted by the severe weather, according to the city. Meals and other assistance will be provided. The Red Cross will also be providing "clean-up kits."

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