Jan. 18, 2009 — The old Red Cross building, near the waterfront on General Gade, caught fire Sunday evening, sending flames through the roof and damaging the exterior of the adjacent building only a foot away.
According to fire chief Glenn Francis, the fire was called in around 5:17, nobody was in the building and no injuries were reported.
Its an old building that was filled with combustible material, Francis said. Its a stone building with pitch pine and its very difficult for the guys to get through it.
The Water and Power Authority temporarily cut water pressure and electricity from the power plant at sub-base to the federal building until the fire was under control at about 8 p.m.
The V.I. Fire Department's Hotel Company in downtown was the first to respond and was later joined by trucks from Bordeaux and Lima as well as the V.I. Police Department, V.I.Territorial Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Technicians, V.I. Port Authority Police, Department of Homeland Security, and WAPA personnel.
John and Abby Hendrix, visiting the territory from Maryland, were among the first to notice the flames shortly after 5 p.m. while en route from the Windward Passage Holiday Inn to the Big Kahuna for dinner.
The flames were coming out of the gated entrance to one of the buildings, and they were very hot, John Hendrix said. We could see it from our room.
The couple joined a large group of local residents that had gathered near the scene.
As firefighters tried to put out the flames that were torching the roof of the old USO building/Danish warehouse downtown, the crowd started pointing and screaming, letting the workers know that the blaze had moved to the structure next to it.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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