1 firefighter dead, 11 injured in Virginia house explosion: officials

Officials said the cause of the fire was not known.

A firefighter died and 11 others, including civilians, were injured when a house exploded in Sterling, Virginia, Friday evening, Loudoun Fire Rescue Assistant Chief James Williams said at a news conference.

Loudoun Fire and Rescue arrived at the Virginia home around 7:40 p.m. Friday. As soon as several firefighters got inside, the house exploded, Williams said.

Nine firefighters were taken to local hospitals, some with serious injuries, the assistant chief said. Both civilians were transported and are receiving additional treatment, Williams said.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The Loudoun Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are assisting in the investigation, Williams said.

The debris field was large, extending close to the street and neighboring homes, and the blasted house was destroyed, the assistant chief said. The fire caused by the explosion continues to burn.

“It was the worst call we could have responded to,” Williams said.

This is a growing story. Check back for updates.

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