G&C Tire captures quake on flip camera

Aug. 24, 2011

Dave Harmon and Gregg Caldwell thought they were shooting a video for Facebook. Instead they captured the 5.8 magnitude earthquake felt up and down the Eastern U.S. yesterday.

Harmon, general manager at G&C Tire and Auto Services, Chantilly, Va., was in the promo video of the shop's new waiting rooms. Owner Gregg Caldwell was shooting the video with a flip camera when the quake knocked him against a wall.

“The footage looks like it knocked me clear off my feet,” says Harmon. “I’m standing beside a swivel chair, and when I grabbed it, it did what swivel chairs do. It swiveled me right to my knees. There were customers in the building at the time. Everybody felt it.”

Harmon said he wasn't sure what was going on at first. His first thought was to make sure all of his 22 employees were safe at the 12-bay shop.

“Our worry right away was the shop, with all the lines and fluids and everything, I was thinking, ‘What came loose?’ Everything was in good shape,” he says.

Harmon says the waiting room where the video was shot is called the “man cave.” It features a big screen TV, alligator skin on the walls, a computer and a massage chair. Next to the man cave is another new waiting room with a beach theme.