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UPDATED: Firefighters face explosion while responding to ‘utility emergency’ at Bailey’s Crossroads

The Fairfax County Fire and Department responds to a utility emergency at Build America Plaza in Bailey’s Crossroads (via FCFRD/Twitter)

(Updated at 8:45 p.m.) An explosion occurred while Fairfax County firefighters were addressing “a utility emergency” at Build America Plaza in Bailey’s Crossroads earlier this evening (Monday).

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department personnel, including an investigator, were dispatched to the shopping center at 3819 South George Mason Drive around 4:30 p.m., according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

At 4:33 p.m., a firefighter in the electrical room reported “smoke coming from the sidewalk” but no active fire, per the scanner.

A firefighter said at 4:39 p.m. that a “power explosion” occurred in an exterior structure that’s attached to the building. Scanner traffic indicates that gas to the building was shut off.

At 4:51 p.m., a battalion commander reported that “we just had some sort of explosion underground over here,” adding that power will also need to be shut off. A video shared later by the FCFRD shows a firefighter tugging open a door, releasing smoke, followed by a ball of fire.

The firefighter is “thankfully” okay, the department said in a tweet shortly after 8:30 p.m. No injuries have been reported from the incident, though the exact nature of the utility issue remains unclear.

“The utility companies will determine what the issue is,” Ashley Hildebrandt, a fire department spokesperson, told FFXnow.

Businesses in the affected two-story building include a 7-Eleven, Stone Hot Pizza and several Ethiopian establishments, including restaurants, markets and a butcher shop.

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