80.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, June 27, 2022


After three days of on-site inspection, investigators from the V.I. Fire Service say they have yet to come up with a definitive cause of the Tuesday morning Wharfside Village Shopping Center fire.
Fire Marshal Glen Francis said Thursday morning he was not ready to release the results of his investigation to date. He said the final assessment of property damages would depend on information from the shopping center's insuror.
Francis said it may take until early next week to determine the cause of the blaze.
St. John Deputy Fire Chief Brian Chapman, who spent the pre-dawn hours with firefighters on the scene, said he expected the final estimate of damages would be heavy. He said the fire destroyed computers and office equipment in the Pusser's Restaurant office and that smoke and water heavily damaged the Pusser's Company Store and a storage room next door.
The Low Key Watersports shop, one floor below Pusser's, and a living area discovered in a loft above the storage room also suffered damage as a result of fire, smoke and water.
The shopping center fire was reported around 1 a.m. Tuesday with Fire Service crews from both St. John fire stations staging an all-hands response. Chapman said his officers put out the blaze within an hour then kept vigil overnight, waiting for daylight to extinguish any burning embers.
Chapman thanked the Cruz Bay Watersports dive shop for assisting the Fire Service by filling the pumper trucks during the emergency and Caribbean Inflatables for donating breathing devices used by firefighters as they delved the smoky blaze.

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