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Cause of ‘dramatic’ explosion during fire in Bailey’s Crossroads identified

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

An explosion that occurred while firefighters were putting out a blaze at Build America Plaza in Bailey’s Crossroads in early November was caused by a backdraft, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says.

Investigators have determined that the fire and “dramatic” explosion were accidental, resulting from degraded power lines that arced and sparked an “underground fire involving the insulation of adjacent communication lines,” the FCFRD reported today (Tuesday).

Firefighters were called to the shopping center at 3819 South George Mason Drive around 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 after 911 received reports of smoke in one of the commercial buildings.

“Crews arrived to find smoke in the building with no fire showing,” the fire department said, describing the incident as a “utility emergency.”

The building was evacuated, but when firefighters opened a door to a shed that appeared to be the source of the smoke, a fiery explosion engulfed them. Sharing a video of the incident, the FCFRD confirmed that the firefighters were okay.

No firefighter or civilian injuries were reported.

Photo via FCFRD/Twitter

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