Virginia: One firefighter killed and 11 other people injured in a house fire

The assistant chief of the local fire department said that they are investigating the cause of the fire that left a scene of total "devastation."

(AFP) A firefighter was killed and eleven other people were injured in an explosion that occurred Friday night at a home in northern Virginia, authorities reported.

James Williams, assistant chief of the local fire department, described the "total" state of "devastation" at the scene.

"There is a field of debris on the street and in the neighboring houses," he declared at a press conference on Friday night.

Williams explained that around 7:40 pm local time, before the fire broke out, a patrol of firefighters and rescuers were sent to the home, located in Sterling, to conduct "an investigation."

He did not specify what they were investigating but explained that they were in the house when the explosion occurred, shortly after their arrival.

Nine firefighters and two civilians were taken to nearby hospitals, according to Williams, who stated that there were various "serious" and "less serious" injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Footage captured by local media shows the house was left in ruins. Piles of rubble can be seen throughout the yard and street.