Explosion levels home in Virginia as police try to serve a search warrant

Home going up in flames after an explosion in Arlington, Va.
A home exploded Monday night in Arlington, Va., as police tried to serve a search warrant.
(Associated Press)

A massive explosion at a duplex where police were investigating reports of shots fired shook a Washington, D.C., suburb Monday and destroyed the home.

All officers escaped serious injury, but it was unclear what happened to the individual who was inside the home when it was leveled by the explosion, spokesperson Ashley Savage of the Arlington County, Va., police said.

Officers went to the home about 4:45 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired. They later determined that the shots came from a flare gun, Savage said. While police investigated, they obtained a search warrant for the home.


When police later attempted to execute the warrant, the person inside the home fired several rounds, and the explosion occurred just before 8:30 p.m., shooting flames and debris into the air, police said.

Savage said it was unclear at the time whether the rounds were fired from a flare gun or a firearm. Police don’t have any evidence that others were in the duplex but can’t rule out the possibility, she said.

Carla Rodriguez of South Arlington said she could hear the explosion more than two miles away and came to the scene, but police kept onlookers blocks away.

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“I actually thought a plane exploded,” she said.

Bob Maynes thought maybe a tree had fallen on his house when he heard the explosion.

“I was sitting in my living room watching television and the whole house shook,” Maynes said. “It wasn’t an earthquake kind of tremor, but the whole house shook.”

Arlington is located across the Potomac River from Washington. The explosion occurred in Bluemont, a neighborhood in north Arlington where many of the homes are duplexes.


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Fire officials do not know the cause of the explosion, said Capt. Nate Hiner, a spokesperson for the Arlington Fire Department.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said federal agents and federal fire investigators were at the scene and assisting in the investigation.