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HomeNewsArchivesWIRING GETS OFFICIAL BLAME FOR WHARFSIDE FIRE

WIRING GETS OFFICIAL BLAME FOR WHARFSIDE FIRE

Faulty wiring caused the December 1999 fire at Wharfside Village, acting St. John fire marshal Glen Francis has ruled.
Francis said Tuesday that he made that determination based on the results of independent laboratory tests conducted by private investigators working with the insurance company covering the Cruz Bay shopping center.
Shortly after the Dec. 28 fire, sources close to the investigation said they believed the fire had been started by an electric fan. "The fan had an extension cord inside a conduit that was not supposed to be used," Francis said. "It's possible that heat built up in the area and led to the fire."
The night-time fire destroyed the second floor office of the Pusser's Restaurant. The Pusser's Company Store, a hallway and a living loft above the hallway sustained smoke and water damage. Two people living in the loft area escaped from a third-story window as firefighters arrived in the middle of the night to battle the blaze.
Meantime, Francis said, it may be impossible to determine the cause of a more recent fire – – one that destroyed a Jeep parked outside the offices of the St. John Tradewinds newspaper a week ago.
According to publisher Tom Oat, an emergency crew arrived shortly after he had closed the office around midnight on May 18. He said firefighters found two stacks of partially burned newspapers at the scene. The vehicle was completely destroyed.
Francis said officials at the Zulu Company fire station in Cruz Bay notified him of the incident but when he arrived on the scene he found the Jeep had been left in an unsecured area, making it impossible to conduct an investigation free from suspicion of evidence tampering.
Oat said officials pried open the hood an hour after putting out the fire and told him the blaze had not originated in the engine.

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Faulty wiring caused the December 1999 fire at Wharfside Village, acting St. John fire marshal Glen Francis has ruled.
Francis said Tuesday that he made that determination based on the results of independent laboratory tests conducted by private investigators working with the insurance company covering the Cruz Bay shopping center.
Shortly after the Dec. 28 fire, sources close to the investigation said they believed the fire had been started by an electric fan. "The fan had an extension cord inside a conduit that was not supposed to be used," Francis said. "It's possible that heat built up in the area and led to the fire."
The night-time fire destroyed the second floor office of the Pusser's Restaurant. The Pusser's Company Store, a hallway and a living loft above the hallway sustained smoke and water damage. Two people living in the loft area escaped from a third-story window as firefighters arrived in the middle of the night to battle the blaze.
Meantime, Francis said, it may be impossible to determine the cause of a more recent fire - - one that destroyed a Jeep parked outside the offices of the St. John Tradewinds newspaper a week ago.
According to publisher Tom Oat, an emergency crew arrived shortly after he had closed the office around midnight on May 18. He said firefighters found two stacks of partially burned newspapers at the scene. The vehicle was completely destroyed.
Francis said officials at the Zulu Company fire station in Cruz Bay notified him of the incident but when he arrived on the scene he found the Jeep had been left in an unsecured area, making it impossible to conduct an investigation free from suspicion of evidence tampering.
Oat said officials pried open the hood an hour after putting out the fire and told him the blaze had not originated in the engine.