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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: February 23, 2024

Investigation Update - Silver Ridge Explosion

incident update NF

The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue’s Fire Marshal’s Office has concluded its on-site investigation activities at 347 Silver Ridge Drive in Sterling. Preliminary findings during this ongoing origin and cause investigation have determined that the explosion on Friday, February 16, 2024 was a result of a leak involving a 500-gallon underground propane tank; uncontained propane migrated into and around the structure and was ignited by an unknown ignition source.

This is an extremely complex investigation, and the incident will remain “Under Investigation” until further notice. The official cause classification will be communicated when the investigation is complete.  

As a result of the explosion, 14 people were injured including one fatality, identified as Sterling Volunteer Firefighter Trevor Brown of the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company. Currently only one Firefighter remains hospitalized, in stable condition, at the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. 

Property damage from the explosion extended to at least six additional residential structures.  In addition to the dwelling at 347 Silver Ridge Dr., three additional structures were evaluated and determined to be unsafe for continued occupancy.  Initial damages are estimated at approximately $2.5 Million. 

LC-CFRS encourages Loudoun residents to be safe when utilizing propane on your property. Follow these basic safety tips and remember if you smell gas, evacuate, and call 911!

  • Have your propane system and appliances installed, inspected, serviced, and repaired by your propane retailer or a qualified professional. 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and understand the warnings concerning the system and appliances.
  • Avoid running out of propane as that may create a serious safety hazard. An inspection is likely required to be completed by your retailer or a qualified professional before turning the gas back on.
  • Know where underground gas lines and tanks are located. This will help avoid damaging them when digging or working on the premises. Protect your regulator from the elements or insects by keeping it well covered. 

How to Identify a Propane Leak

  • Listen for a hissing or blowing sound.
  • If you smell a rotten-egg-like odor, you may have a propane leak.
  • Look for blowing dirt and dead or dying vegetation.

If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak:

  • Stop what you’re doing and leave the area immediately. If you're inside, get out immediately. If you're outside, leave the area quickly. 
  • Call 911 and your propane retailer. From a safe location, away from the building, call 911 and wait for crews to arrive. Do not return to the building or area until a qualified professional determines it is safe to do so. 

For additional fire and life safety information, please visit or call 703-737-8600.

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