House explodes in Arlington, Virginia, after flare gun shot inside, police say

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — A house in Arlington, Virgina, exploded Monday night, shortly after officers were executing a search warrant at the residence for reports of a person discharging several rounds with a flare gun, officials said during a press conference.

Police responded to a residence on the 800 block of North Burlington Street at approximately 4:45 p.m. Monday afternoon with reports of possible shots fired, said Ashley Savage, public information officer with Arlington County Police Department.

“The suspect inside the residence discharged several rounds. The house subsequently exploded,” Savage said.

Police officers sustained minor injuries and were treated on scene. Before the explosion, Savage said that a barricade situation took place after attempts to make contact with the suspect were unsuccessful.

“During the early parts of it, after we had obtained a search warrant, we were attempting to make contact with the individual. Our SWAT team was on scene at that point, we would determine that the incident would be a barricade because the suspect had not exited the residence,” she said. “We were attempting to make contact with the individual when shots were discharged inside the residence.”

Police said in a statement that a preliminary investigation indicated the suspect “discharged a flare gun approximately 30 – 40 times from inside his residence into the surrounding neighborhood.”

Then, as officers investigated, they obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence and unsuccessfully attempted to make contact with the suspect.

“As officers were attempting to execute the search warrant, the suspect discharged several rounds, from what is believed to be a firearm, inside the home. Subsequently, at approximately 8:25 p.m., an explosion occurred at the residence. The investigation into the circumstances of the explosion are ongoing,” the statement said.

As of approximately 10:30 p.m. Monday evening, the fire was under control and The Arlington County Fire Department continued to battle small spot fires. The investigation remains ongoing.

Neighbors several blocks away described feeling the concussion from the blast in their homes.

Witnesses described seeing flares in the sky emanating from the area of the blast prior to the blast.

Officials were aware of only one individual, the suspect, who was inside the residence at the time of the explosion. No details on their identity have been released. The suspect was still in the house and had not yet been taken into custody because ACPD had not been able to enter the residence as the fire was still ongoing, Savage said.

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