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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Two people and a pet are dead after an explosion and fire in Virginia Beach Monday morning.
Investigators said it happened inside a welding shop off Virginia Beach Boulevard and North Birdneck Road. The scene was located at a commercial building near the Atlantic Park area.
“[It] seems to be a very tight-knit community of business owners at this building,” said Capt. Jim Ingledue with Virginia Beach Fire Department. “They all knew each other and are, rightfully so, very upset and really shocked about all of this.”
An explosion and fire erupted at one of the units before lunchtime. Ingledue said witnesses called 911 shortly after 11 a.m., with reports of a loud boom.
“This appears to be a welding shop. I think the name is Neptune Welding,” he told 13News Now.
Inside, Ingledue said crews found the bodies of a couple, a man and woman. Their names and ages have not yet been released.
Investigators believe at least one of them may have owned Neptune Welding, and that a welding accident unfolded in the moments before the explosion and fire.
“Our investigation has led us to believe that, yes, there was what we call ‘hot work,’ any type of metal welding or cutting,” Ingledue said.
Responders also found a dog who had died.
Ingledue said crews prevented flames from spreading into other units. One business next door had minor damage, but most of the fire was contained to the welding shop.
Late Monday afternoon, someone posted a sign right outside of the commercial building which read:
“Due to an emergency situation, this facility will be closed until Weds. 12/7/2022. All outdoor rented spaces and all equipment in those spots is safe. Thank you for your understanding. -Management.”
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