UNITED STATES NEWS

Leaking underground propane tank found at Virginia home before deadly house explosion

Feb 17, 2024, 9:16 AM

STERLING, Va. (AP) — When firefighters arrived at a home in a Washington, D.C., suburb to investigate a report about a gas smell Friday night, they discovered a 500-gallon underground propane tank with a leak on the side of the residence.

A short time later, the house exploded and burst into flames, with multiple mayday calls coming from the firefighters trapped inside. Crews rushed in to try to rescue them from the debris that covered them, but one firefighter was killed and nine others were injured, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue officials said in a news release.

The origin and cause of the explosion is under investigation. Authorities did not say if they believe the propane tank leak caused the explosion.

James Williams, assistant chief of operations, said the firefighters’ injuries range from limited to severe. Two other people were also injured and treated at hospitals for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Williams described damage to the home in Sterling as “total devastation.”

“There’s a debris field well into the street and into the neighboring homes,” he said Friday during a news conference.

Sterling is located about 22 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Washington, D.C.

In a news release Saturday, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue said the emergency communications center received a 911 call reporting a gas odor shortly after 7:30 p.m. Friday. After firefighters found the leak in the underground propane tank, they requested a hazardous materials response team and additional units and safety officers. The house exploded a short time later.

A neighbor, John Padgett, told ABC7 News that he had smelled gas while walking his dog earlier.

The blast shook his home, he said.

“It looked like an inferno,” and insulation from the burning home fell like ash, he added. “It was horrific; it looked like something out of a war zone.”

Washington Gas issued a statement on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying it has company representatives on the scene and is assisting Loudoun County fire officials and other authorities in the investigation.

“We are verifying the integrity of our system in the surrounding area,” the company said. “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 Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office was also on the scene Saturday and is investigating the origin and cause of the explosion.

“This is believed to be an isolated incident and there is no ongoing danger to the community,” Loudoun County Fire and Rescue said in a statement.

The body of the firefighter who died was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.

United States News

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares gain despite Wall Street’s tech-led retreat

Asian shares advanced on Thursday even after sinking technology stocks sent Wall Street lower in the S&P 500’s worse losing streak since the start of the year. U.S. futures were lower, while oil prices gained. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.3% to 38,079.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.3% to 16,468.07. The Shanghai […]

8 minutes ago

Associated Press

Takeaways from this week’s reports on the deadly 2023 Maui fire that destroyed Lahaina

HONOLULU (AP) — More than half a year after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century burned through a historic Maui town, officials are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong and how to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. But two reports released this week are filling in some of the […]

3 hours ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Oklahoma man arrested after authorities say he threw a pipe bomb at Satanic Temple in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — An Oklahoma man was arrested Wednesday after authorities accused him of throwing a pipe bomb at the Massachusetts headquarters of a group called The Satanic Temple. The Salem-based group says on its website that it campaigns for secularism and individual liberties, and that its members don’t actually worship Satan. Sean Patrick Palmer, […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Ellen Ash Peters, first female chief justice of Connecticut Supreme Court, dies at 94

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Ellen Ash Peters, who was the first woman to serve as Connecticut’s chief justice and wrote the majority opinion in the state Supreme Court’s landmark school desegregation ruling in 1996, has died. She was 94. Peters, who also was the first female faculty member at Yale Law School, passed away Tuesday, […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Vermont farms are still recovering from flooding as they enter the growing season

BERLIN, Vt. (AP) — Hundreds of Vermont farms are still recovering from last July’s catastrophic flooding and other extreme weather as they head into this year’s growing season. Dog River Farm, in Berlin, Vermont, lost nearly all its produce crops in the July flooding. The farm removed truckloads of river silt and sand from the […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Leaking underground propane tank found at Virginia home before deadly house explosion