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Home near Washington DC explodes as police surround armed suspect – BBC News

By Chloe Kim

A huge explosion has destroyed at least one home in a suburb of Washington DC as police executed a search warrant, authorities said.

Officers were called to the home in Arlington, Virginia, at 16:45 EST (21:45 GMT) on Monday after reports of someone firing a flare gun.

When they tried to enter, there were shots fired then a big explosion.

Officers on the scene reported only minor injuries while the suspect inside the home is unaccounted for.

The fire department extinguished the blaze.

The incident started when the suspect fired a flare gun between 30 to 40 times, Arlington police said, which did not cause any injuries or property damage.

Officers then obtained a search warrant and tried to speak to him over the phone and loudspeakers, but the suspect did not respond and remained barricaded inside the house.

“As officers were attempting to execute a search warrant at the residence, the suspect discharged several rounds inside the home,” the police department said.

The suspect fired shots from what was “believed to be a firearm” around 20:25 EST, Arlington police said.

It is unknown what caused the explosion and investigations are ongoing, they added.

The suspect has yet to be identified and it is not clear what condition he is in. It seemed no one else was in the duplex home at the time of the explosion, police said.

Some residents in the surrounding area said on social media they felt their homes shake.

One online video shows what appears to be a Swat team vehicle advancing towards the residence as the blast occurs. Other videos circulating on social media show debris and plumes of smoke flying into the air as the house explodes, blasting off the roof of the house and its walls.

Some residents were evacuated by police while others have been told to shelter in place.

One eyewitness, Jim Mathews, posted on X before the explosion that he saw several flares.

“Looked like flares being fired off,” he said. “Would last 15-20 seconds. Several in a matter of 5 mins or so.”

In a post on X, Virginia’s Democratic Representative Don Beyer said: “This is very, very scary, and my profound thanks go out to first responders working to secure the area and keep everyone safe.”

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