Police investigating massive explosion which destroyed Virginia house say man died in blast

Footage of the explosion shows a huge fireball shooting debris and flames into the air (Credit: CNN via X/@connormaj)

The owner of a Virginia house that exploded as police tried to execute a search warrant is believed to have died in the blast, officials have said.

James Yoo, 56, was identified by Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn at a news conference on Tuesday after he fired a “flare-type gun” from inside the house into the neighbourhood more than 30 times.

Mr Penn said police responded to the house about 4:45pm local time on Monday after receiving reports of shots fired.

Members of the Arlington County Fire department look towards the house's remains on Tuesday. Credit: AP

When attempts to communicate with Yoo were largely unsuccessful, police obtained a search warrant.

As officers breached the door to enter the home, the suspect fired multiple gunshots from within the house, Mr Penn said.

He said it wasn’t clear where in the house the shots were coming from or what the suspect was firing at.

Soon after that, just before 8:30pm, the house exploded, shooting flames and debris into the air in a blast that was felt for miles.

Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the explosion. Credit: AP

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is ongoing, fire officials added.

Video of the explosion shared on social media shows a huge fireball shooting debris and flames into the air.

Federal agents and fire investigators were at the scene and assisting with efforts, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

The explosion itself was reported as being heard more than two miles away, with some residents describing a "tremor" shaking through their homes.

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