Arlington, Virginia – December 5, 2023
In a dramatic incident on Monday night, a house in Arlington erupted in a ball of flames, shattering windows and sending smoke and debris billowing into the air. The explosion occurred as police attempted to investigate reports of a flare gun being fired from inside the residence near the Ballston area.
The Arlington County Police Department received a service call around 4:45 p.m., alerting them to someone firing a flare gun multiple times from inside the house into the neighborhood. In response, law enforcement officers tried to establish contact with the suspect, deploying phone calls and loudspeakers. However, the individual remained unresponsive and barricaded inside the home, prompting authorities to obtain a search warrant.
Shortly before 8:25 p.m., police officers approached the residence to execute the search warrant. In a tense turn of events, the suspect discharged several rounds from inside the house, leading to a powerful explosion that engulfed the structure in flames. While the nature of the weapon used was initially unclear, authorities later revealed that the rounds were believed to be fired from a firearm rather than a flare gun.
As of now, the suspect’s identity remains unknown, and there is limited information on their condition. The house, a duplex, was reportedly occupied solely by the suspect, but authorities could not definitively rule out the possibility of others being inside during the incident.
Despite the intensity of the explosion, no fatalities were reported, and none of the officers involved sustained serious injuries. Three officers suffered minor injuries but did not require hospitalization. The suspect’s condition is pending confirmation, with fire officials awaiting the arrival of a utility company before entering the remains of the structure.
Residents in the vicinity, such as Carla Rodriguez from South Arlington, reported hearing the explosion from over 2 miles away, describing it as akin to a plane exploding. The Arlington County Fire Department confirmed that the fire resulting from the blast was under control by approximately 10:30 p.m., although crews continued to address small spot fires.
The Bureau of “Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)” and the “Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)” have joined local authorities in the ongoing investigation to determine the cause of the explosion. As the community grapples with the aftermath, questions linger about the circumstances leading to this shocking incident in Arlington.