(The Epoch Times)—A house exploded in a giant fireball on Monday night following an hours-long standoff in Arlington, Virginia, while police were responding to reports that a suspect had fired a flare gun.
The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) said the blast happened around 8:20 p.m. in Bluemont, a suburban area located across the Potomac River from Washington.
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Officers had been on scene responding since about 4:45 p.m. to reports of shots fired. It was later determined that the suspect discharged a flare gun from a residence, which escalated into a series of alarming events.
Arlington County police spokesperson Ashley Savage said that officers investigated while they obtained a search warrant for the home, which was a duplex, as are many in the Bluemont area.
“As officers were attempting to execute a search warrant at the residence, the suspect discharged several rounds inside the home,” ACPD stated on X, formerly Twitter. “Subsequently, an explosion occurred at the residence, and officers continue to investigate the circumstances of the explosion.”
It’s not clear if the rounds were fired from a flare gun or a different firearm, according to Ms. Savage, who also said that police don’t have evidence that others were in the residence. However, she noted that the investigation is in its early stages.
The initial report from ACPD urged residents to steer clear of the area due to ongoing police activity stemming from the discharge of the flare gun.
Alex Wilson, a witness who recorded video footage of the chaotic scene from the rooftop of his nearby home, told Fox 5 that he began to film because “things seemed like they were definitely escalating.”
“The guy inside wasn’t responding [to the officers], and they drove a SWAT truck through the front door,” Mr. Wilson added. “And then shots were being fired after that.”
The standoff between the suspect and the police had been ongoing for hours, but now, he could tell that “something’s actually going to happen.”
“It was just a happenstance,” he added. “They pulled [the SWAT truck] back after breaking through the front door, trying to get him to come out; he wasn’t coming out.
Mr. Wilson said that police appeared to be reversing and repositioning the SWAT truck “to be able to go through the front window” when suddenly “the place just erupted.”
Following the explosion at the residence, Arlington Fire and Emergency Services reported that the fire was under control.
“Crews continue to battle small spot fires,” Arlington Fire and EMS stated. “Units remaining on scene for an undetermined amount of time.”
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In a subsequent update, police confirmed that firefighters were at the scene actively working to extinguish a blaze that erupted at the residence.
Despite its intensity, the blast caused only minor injuries to some officers, with none being taken to the hospital, according to Ms. Savage.
The condition of the suspect, who was inside the residence when the explosion occurred, remains unknown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.