‘Total Devastation’: 1 Firefighter Killed, 11 Others Injured In North Virginia Home Explosion


Mariane Angela Contributor
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A firefighter lost his life and eleven others sustained injuries Friday in a home explosion in Sterling, Virginia, WUSA9 reported.

Emergency teams were dispatched around 7:30 p.m. in response to a reported gas leak prior to the explosion, according to the outlet, citing officials at the scene. A leak from a 500-gallon underground propane tank may have contributed to the subsequent explosion,  according to firefighters, the outlet reported.

When the Loudoun County Fire Department arrived at the scene, the emergency responders discovered a leak in the propane tank located alongside the home, which had allowed propane gas to seep into the dwelling, WUSA9 added. By the time of the explosion, the two residents and their pets had already been safely removed from the premises, according to the outlet.

Crews were also dispatched to a reported structure fire in the same area approximately half an hour after the first call, Williams said, according to the outlet. However, the situation took a turn when the house exploded shortly after their arrival, resulting in the loss and injuries.

Among the injured individuals, four of the firefighters remain hospitalized with varying degrees of injuries, according to WUSA9. All are expected to survive, according to Loudoun County System Chief Keith Johnson during a Saturday press conference, the outlet reported.

“Soon after arrival, with firefighters inside, the house did explode,” Williams said, the outlet reported. “Total devastation. There’s a debris field well into the street and into the neighboring homes.” (RELATED: 11 Dead In France After Fire Rages Through Vacation Home For Disabled Adults)

“This is the worst call we could respond to, and this is a time where we need to support each other and hold each other up,” Williams said when asked about the firefighters, according to WUSA9.

The local gas utility, Washington Gas, released a statement in response to the incident. “Washington Gas is on the scene and assisting the Loudoun County Fire and other authorities as the fire remains under investigation,” according to WUSA9. “We are verifying the integrity of our system in the surrounding area. Our hearts go out to those who were injured and to the Loudoun County Fire department for the loss of one of their own.”

The fallen firefighter was identified as Trevor Brown, 45, of the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company, who joined the company in 2016, according to the outlet. Brown leaves behind a wife and three children, according to the outlet. His body was taken, with full honors and an escort, to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for further investigation, according to the outlet.