Explosion, Fire Rock Virginia Apartment Building


Authorities say six people were hurt, including three police officers, when a person trying to commit suicide sparked a three-alarm fire at a Seven Corners high-rise.

Firefighters were called to the Cavalier Club apartments in the 6200 block of Wilson Boulevard about 7:45 a.m. Saturday for a report of a suicide attempt in a second-floor apartment.

They were waiting nearby for police to arrive when there was a sudden explosion, and fire flashed out of a second-floor apartment, police said.

Police officers broke through a glass window and rescued the man, who suffered serious burns. He was flown by helicopter to Washington Hospital Center, where his condition was unknown late Saturday afternoon.

The blaze quickly went to three alarms, with more than 400 people being evacuated from the complex. It took more than 100 firefighters to douse the blaze.

The officers who rescued the suicidal man suffered smoke inhalation, police said. The three, along with two residents who also inhaled smoke, were treated and released from a nearby hospital.

Most residents were allowed to return to their apartments Saturday afternoon. Police said the fire started in Apartment 211, and the four men who lived there were left homeless by the blaze. One of them was the seriously injured man.

Fire investigators said the apartment is a total loss and the fire was intentionally set.

Fire officials said the blaze could have been much worse if they had not already been at the scene for the suicide attempt call.

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