Explosive Revelations: Authorities Unveil Startling Details in DC Blast


Arlington County officials held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to share additional details about the bizarre explosion in Ballston on Monday night.

Arlington County Police Chief Andy Penn has confirmed that the person who was inside the house at the time of the explosion is dead. The fire officials believe the human remains found in the house belong to James Yoo (56), the owner of the home. The remains have yet to be positively identified by DNA tests. All factors indicate that this is the individual. However, it will take time to confirm.

Penn stated that the ACPD responded to the 844 N. Burlington Street home at around 4:45 pm for reports of possible gunshots. He said that an investigation on-scene revealed a male suspect had discharged a flare gun more than 30 times from the residence. Officers tried to talk with the suspect but without success. Our officers were able to obtain a search warrant to seize any weapons and ensure that there was no threat to the community.”

It is not clear why the police required a warrant to enter a home where someone was firing a flaregun. “Members of the emergency team” attempted to execute a warrant by communicating with the suspect in various ways. This was unsuccessful.

In the hope of bringing the suspect to justice, they used “non-flammable and less lethal chemical weapons” to cover multiple areas in the house where they believed he was hiding.

The police say that their only previous interactions with Yoo were to deal with “calls for services for loud noises” in the last couple of years.

Penn said, “We’re aware of social media posts that the suspect is alleged to have made and they will be reviewed in the context of the ongoing criminal investigations.”

Residents of the area had been evacuated before the explosion for their safety. Fire officials also turned off the gas supply to the house. The investigation has no timeline, but officials have said that debris was found in “several streets over” based on the topography and that 10-12 homes had been damaged.

Jason Jenkins, Arlington County’s assistant fire chief, stated that the “suppression effort” continued through the night and early morning. The fire has been completely extinguished at this point.

When reporters asked Jenkins why the area had been evacuated before the explosion, Jenkins replied that it was done around 7 pm to protect the residents of the neighborhood, including those who lived in half of the duplex.

“Again, in an attempt to mitigate or save lives, anything is possible,” he said. “So in that particular instance, where an individual had barricaded themselves, we took the necessary steps to remove neighbors in case something such as this, as unfortunate as this, would occur.”

Reporter: “It appears that you were afraid of something happening.”

He explained that this was done to reduce the risk. “Fire Department personnel shut off the gas to the address because they suspected that there might be an explosive or hazardous material inside. We had no reason to think otherwise. We anticipate the worst and save lives. To save lives, the occupants of buildings, their neighbors, etc., are removed.

The chief of police added: “Everyone on the scene took action to ensure that we did everything possible to ensure that everyone in that area was safe in this community.”

He continued, “It was important to me that we evacuated as many people as we could. I also wanted to ensure that the scene was as safe and secure as possible.” “I won’t get into specifics for the investigation. The investigation is still in its early stages. “As Chief Jenkins said, the fire burned into the night. So, at this stage, we are starting our evidence collection work.”

Aaron Miller, Arlington County’s deputy county manager of public safety, stated that around ten homes were affected by the explosion. His department has been working with the residents to provide basic needs such as toiletries and mental healthcare services.

Dave Sundberg is the assistant director of the Washington Field Office, and said that the FBI is working with local officials to coordinate and provide resources to “confirm that this incident was isolated and that there is not a threat to the community or other communities.”

He said that when the incident happened last night, FBI agents sent bomb technicians, along with other federal partners and investigative agents to help our local law enforcement partners and assess the scene.

We reported that the suspect communicated with the FBI through phone calls, emails, and online tips for several years. He said that these communications were primarily complaints about frauds he thought had been perpetrated on him.

The FBI did not open any investigations based on the information in these communications or their nature.

Craig Kalama, special agent in charge for the ATF Washington Field Division, said they now have “canines, bomb techs from both field divisions, and fire arson experts on the scene. We will be here for the duration providing assistance. Currently right now we are conducting a grid search of the location with our partners to determine the cause and origin” of the explosion.”