VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A husband, his wife and a dog are all dead following an explosion inside a welding shop in Virginia Beach, according to fire investigators.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department said a 911 call came in just before 11:15 Monday morning for an explosion and fire at Neptune Welding off Virginia Beach Boulevard near Birdneck Road.
Fire officials said the couple that was killed inside the shop owned the business and were welding at the time.
Family members who were feet away from the scene were devastated. They were comforting one another through tears and hugs.
“It’s a very shocking and difficult time for everybody,” said Capt. Jim Ingledue with Virginia Beach Fire Department’s fire marshal’s office.
Fire investigators said firefighters were met with heavy smoke billowing out of the business. They said flames and most of the damage were contained to Neptune Welding on the end of the building.
The business is part of a larger building with several suites, including Beach Outdoor Storage.
“The business owner of the suite next door was very thankful and praised the fire department that there was no fire damage, maybe a little smoke damage,” Ingledue said.
Ingledue said he spoke with family members on scene and the people who work in the building. He said the business owners in the building are very close to one another.
“The people that operate businesses in this building, it seems to be a tight-knit close number of people,” said Ingledue. “They were all very distraught and concerned and upset over what has happened. They all knew one another.”
Fire investigators are not releasing the names of the two people who died.
Fire officials are still working to find out the exact cause of the explosion.