Fire safety tips Family homeless after fire

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ST. THOMAS - One family will not be able to spend Christmas at home after a fire destroyed their apartment late Sunday night.

The V.I. Fire Service received a report of a fire in a Solberg apartment complex just after 11:30 p.m.

When two units from the Fire Service's Hotel Company arrived, they found heavy flames and smoke coming from the bottom floor of a three-story complex on Nye Nordsidevej, according to V.I. Fire Service Assistant Director Daryl George.

Several families already had evacuated the building, including the family whose apartment was on fire. Those families have been placed in temporary housing by the local Red Cross chapter, George said.

No persons were injured.

Firefighters advanced into the building and suppressed the flames and smoke within a half-hour. The clean up of the area took about two hours, George said.

The Fire Service is investigating the fire and has not yet determined a cause, he said. No value has yet been placed on the apartment.

- Contact reporter Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email

The V.I. Fire Service offers these tips to have a safe holiday:

- Do not overload electrical outlets, as they can cause power shortages and spark fires.

- Keep watch over grills, especially ones with open flames to ensure that the flames are under control.

- Do not overload Christmas trees with lights, and keep them at a distance from heat sources, such as candles and electric heaters.

- Do not leave home or go to bed with the Christmas tree's lights on.

- Check your smoke detector regularly.

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