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At bomb site, store workers pitched in to help

The scene on Boylston Street Tuesday outside the Marathon Sports store, site of the first bomb blast.


The scene on Boylston Street Tuesday outside the Marathon Sports store, site of the first bomb blast.

The day after the Boston Marathon is typically one of the year’s busiest at Marathon Sports on Boylston Street, as shoppers with running fresh in their minds crowd the store. But the shop was closed Tuesday, made the center of a blood-stained crime scene by the first of two bomb blasts that killed three and injured more than 170 others near the finish line of Monday’s race.

“Who cares about business when something like this happens?” said Colin Peddie, owner of the Marathon Sports chain, which has nine stores in the region.

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Peddie, an accomplished runner who competed in the 1996 Olympic Marathon trials, was at the Boston store for the race, but he had left with his son about a half hour before the first explosion, which appeared to erupt from the sidewalk near the entrance to his business. The windows of a LensCrafters store next door were blown out, and blood was splattered on the ground.

About a dozen Marathon Sports employees were working Monday. For most of the day, they took turns standing outside, cheering runners on the home stretch.

All were inside the store when the bomb went off at 2:50 p.m. and were unharmed. But they didn’t stay indoors for long.

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Peddie said employees rushed to aid injured runners and spectators, joining an improvised triage unit at the finish line.

“They were out there doing exactly what I would expect of my employees — helping people and being part of the solution,” he said.

Callum Borchers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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