Officials investigating fire at Virginia Beach shooting range; those injured show improvement Patrick Wilson The Virginian-Pilot © May 12, 2008 VIRGINIA BEACH Several people injured in a fire that erupted at a shooting range Sunday appear to be doing better today, a fire official said this afternoon. “They are all upright and talking and have different levels of burn injuries, but none appears to be critical at this time,” said Battalion Chief Leon Dextradeur. Seven people suffered burns and smoke inhalation at A&P Arms’ Lynnhaven Shooting Range when a fire started in one of the shooting lanes. Six people went to the hospital and four remain there, he said. Two were considered in critical condition on Sunday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The cause has not been determined. Authorities from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are at the scene helping with the investigation. Flash fires ignite quickly and go out quickly, usually for lack of oxygen, Dextradeur said. Fifteen people were at the range at the time, said Dextradeur. Two people suffered from burns to their faces and smoke inhalation and were initially listed in critical condition. They were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Two people with less serious injuries also were taken to Sentara Norfolk. Two other victims with less serious injuries were taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. Another victim did not want to go to a hospital, Dextradeur said. There are three shooting ranges in the facility. An explosion at the end of range 3 started a flash fire that spread quickly toward people at the other end. “It was a very rapid onset of fire,” Dextradeur said. The fire was under control in about 30 minutes and was largely contained to range 3, Dextradeur said. More than 40 firefighters responded. The manager of the shooting range declined to be interviewed. In 1994, a small explosion at the facility knocked the rear wall loose but no one was injured. At that time, officials said that the explosion could have been caused by the accumulation of chemicals in some of the shooting lanes.