Fire damages abandoned home in downtown Charlotte Amalie
Published: October 26, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - Firefighters spent an hour Friday afternoon extinguishing a fire in an abandoned home in the Garden Street area.
About 2:30 p.m., the blaze sent huge plumes of dark smoke into the air and clouded surrounding streets, even reaching Main Street.
The fire itself was confined to a home between Nye Gade and Commandant Gade on Lille Groole Gade, according to Assistant Director of the V.I. Fire Service Daryl George.
George said the blaze may have been set by squatters occupying the two bedroom structure. The pitch point lumber emitted a heavy amount of smoke because of the oily content of the wood, and though the fire sparked onto adjacent homes, firefighters contained it within 25 minutes and stopped its spread, George said.
Firefighters used water to extinguish the fire, and charred hunks of scrap metal were piled up behind a wire fence behind the home.
No one was injured by the blaze, George said.
The arson and prevention unit was still salvaging and investigating Friday evening, George said.
George said people in the neighborhood had reported that vagrants had taken up residence inside the home, but no one was inside the home when the firefighters responded.
Regarding the incidence of fires in abandoned homes in the blighted enterprise zone neighborhood, George said:
"I don't think it is a huge problem. The Fire Service, along with a task force, have been trying to board up abandoned structures in the historical area, but the problem is keeping the squatters out of them."
- Contact Amanda Norris at 714-9104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.