Firefighter killed and 12 people injured by massive explosion at Virginia home

Officials in Virginia are investigating the cause of a massive house explosion that left one firefighter dead and a dozen injured but say they found a leaking propane tank at the devastated property.

Loudoun County authorities say that they responded to reports of a gas odour at the 300 block of Silver Ridge Drive in Sterling on Friday evening. They requested the Hazardous Materials Response Team after finding a 500-gallon underground propane tank with a leak on the side of the residence, the county fire and rescue team said.

Not long after officials arrived on the scene, there was a “catastrophic explosion concurrent with multiple maydays from firefighters” inside the home, according to the fire and rescue team. The explosion prompted other nearby emergency response teams to flock to the scene.

After hearing “multiple maydays and calls for help,” fire and rescue crews then tried to find those who were trapped in the home, covered by debris. One firefighter — identified as Trevor Brown, 45 — died. He was a member of the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company, and had served as a firefighter since 2016, the fire and rescue team said in a release on Saturday morning.

“Please keep Firefighter Brown’s family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, and we ask that the family’s privacy be respected,” the release added.

Firefighter Trevor Brown was killed in the blast

(Loudoun County Fire and Rescue)

The explosion also landed 13 others in the hospital — 11 first responders — four of whom are still hospitalised — and two civilians “with varying degrees of injuries,” the release stated.

Speaking to the Washington Post, James Williams, an assistant chief with Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, described the house’s remnants as “total devastation.”

“This is the worst call that we can respond to, and this is a time where we need to support each other and hold each other up,” Mr Williams told the outlet.

“This is believed to be an isolated incident and there is no ongoing danger to the community,” the department wrote.

As of early Saturday morning, the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office remains on scene and is investigating the cause of the incident.

The Independent has reached out to the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue.

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