Barn catches fire, explodes in Sterling

A barn caught fire and exploded around 10 p.m. on Jan. 15 a block away from a Sheetz gas station and convenience store in Sterling.

A barn in the Sterling area was destroyed on Jan. 15 after a fire and explosion, according to Loudoun County fire officials.

The barn, in the 45700 block of Maries Rd, was fully in flames when fire crews arrived on the scene. Maries Road, located near Route 28, runs parallel to Nokes Boulevard for about half a mile.

Several data centers are located near the barn, although a portion of the area on the same side of Maries Road is undeveloped. A greenhouse and nursery business is the next development to the east of the barn on the same side.

“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,” the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System said in a statement.

The explosion was caused by a propane cylinder that caught on fire, according to the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office. There were no reported injuries from the fire and explosion.

Operators of a Sheetz convenience store on Nokes Boulevard, a block away from the fire, reportedly turned off their lights and electric power to the fuel pumps to prevent any explosions at their gas station.

Firefighters from several units in eastern Loudoun County and Fairfax County’s North Point station near Dulles Airport were dispatched to the scene at about 10 p.m. on Jan. 15 the Loudoun County fire and rescue system said.

In Loudoun, units from the Sterling, Ashburn, Kincora and Moorefield stations responded to the fire.

The fire and rescue system initially received a report from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office that the structure was fully engulfed in flames. “An explosion occurred as the first units arrived which appeared to be a propane cylinder,” the fire and rescue system said.

As they tried to extinguish the fire, units established water supplies from a fire hydrant at a data center on Nokes Boulevard and another hydrant on Maries Road, the fire and rescue system said. The barn was estimated be about 50 feet by 30 feet in size.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire and another recent fire in the same area, according to the fire and rescue system.

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