Updated: Firefighter Killed, 10 Hurt in Sterling, VA, House Explosion

Feb. 17, 2024
Ten Loudoun County firefighters were injured following a house explosion involving a large propane tank in Sterling.

Loudon County fire officials confirmed the death of a firefighter late Friday, following a violent explosion that left a dozen people injured in Sterling, VA.

Firefighters from the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company, and Loudoun County responded to a reported gas leak outside a home on Silver Ridge Drive in Sterling around 7:30 p.m., according to NBC Washington.

"Upon arrival, units from Sterling located a 500-gallon underground propane tank with a leak on the side of the residence and requested the Loudoun County’s Hazardous Materials Response Team," Loudoun County Fire Rescue shared in a statement. "A short time later, units on scene reported a catastrophic explosion concurrent with multiple maydays from firefighters inside the residence."

“The house is pretty much leveled,” NBC reported that a firefighter called in on the radio after the blast. Debris covered a large area around the home.

The explosion and subsequent mayday calls prompted the response of a Rapid Intervention Task Force and a second alarm, fire officials said. Units from Sterling, South Riding, Fairfax County and Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority responded to the scene.

Multiple local news outlets reported that one firefighter was trapped in the debris for an extended period of time. 

According to WUSA9.com, all firefighters were accounted for by 10:15 p.m., with several wheeled away on stretchers.

Multiple videos from the scene (see below) show what appears to be part of a garage and a chimney were the only parts of the structure remaining. 

The department confirmed that 10 firefighters with varying injuries. Two civilians sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Crews from Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office responded and began their investigation into the cause of origin of the explosion.

"We appreciate the continued support of the community and our public safety partners during this incredibly difficult time. Please keep our Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System members, their friends, families, and all those involved in your thoughts," the department said.