Sterling house explosion caused by leaking 500-gallon propane tank; damage costs $2.5M

Investigators announced Friday that they have finished their on-site investigation, one week after a home exploded in Loudoun County, killing one firefighter and injuring many more.

The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshal’s Office believes last Friday’s explosion at 347 Silver Ridge Dr. in Sterling was caused by a leaking 500-gallon underground propane tank


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Officials said the propane got into and around the house, and it was ignited. At this point, investigators are still unsure who or what sparked it.

"This is an extremely complex investigation, and the incident will remain under investigation until further notice," the Fire Marshal's Office said in a statement. "The official cause classification will be communicated when the investigation is complete."

Overall, 14 people were injured by the blast, including Sterling Volunteer Firefighter Trevor Brown, who was killed.

Currently, the Fire Marshal's Office says one firefighter remains hospitalized and is in stable condition at the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital. 

Property damage from the explosion extended to at least six nearby residences, and three of them were deemed to be unsafe for people to continue living inside.


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Emotions continue to run high in a Virginia neighborhood after a devastating house explosion reduced a home to rubble and left a volunteer firefighter dead.

The total damages are estimated to be about $2.5 million.

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"It’s just shocking, said neighbors John and Stephanie Pavich. "Like, it still smells like a fire and it’s been a week. It’s just unbelievable. It's almost unimaginable …  I mean you’re seeing people’s personal belongings hanging in trees. Dresser drawers and clothing and insulation. It’s just horrible."

The funeral for firefighter Brown is scheduled for Monday, March 4 in Leesburg.