The Loudoun County Fire Marshals Office is investigating a large structure fire and explosion Friday evening in Sterling. The explosion was ultimately determined to be propane cylinder. Here is the statement from Loudoun County Fire Rescue:
“At approximately 10 p.m., (Loudoun County Fire Rescue) units from the Sterling, Ashburn, Kincora, Moorefield and Fairfax County North Point fire and rescue stations were dispatched for a reported structure fire at 45781 Maries Road in the Sterling District. The structure on fire appeared to be an old barn or storage type structure on an undeveloped parcel of land across the street from the Sybase Data Center.”
“Incoming fire and rescue units received a report from an (Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office) unit on the scene that the structure was fully involved with fire. An explosion occurred as the first units arrived which appeared to be a propane cylinder. LC-CFRS units initiated a rapid exterior attack on the fire with master stream devices and concurrently established a water supply from one fire hydrant at the data center and another hydrant further down Maries Road. Due to the advanced state of the fire, all suppression operations were from an exterior position.”
As The Burn reported on Thursday, local authorities are on heightened alert after online threats were made against data centers. The proximity of the fire to a data center raised eyebrows, but thus far, there is no reported link. There was another structure fire on the same street last Sunday, January 10. No word if the two blazes are related and authorities confirm the Fire Marshall’s office is investigating both
Twitter user Bob Mertz was in the area Friday night and recorded video of the fire from a nearby Sheetz gas station.
Huge explosion in Sterling, VA tonight. Heard it inside Sheetz as I was paying and the clerk and I just looked at each other like WTF…. Then we had to evacuate for safety and as I walked out this is what I saw. pic.twitter.com/WSU0Lkwo6Y
— Bob K Mertz (@bblboy54) January 16, 2021
(Image at top: Loudoun Career Firefighters Association — IAFF 3756 via Facebook)