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Fire Destroys Mt. Welcome Business

April 10, 2005 — A Saturday afternoon fire destroyed the East End Bound bar and restaurant in Mount Welcome, St. Croix. The heavily charred building is adjacent to the D.C. Canegata ballpark. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find "the establishment completely engulfed in flames …. There were open flames coming from all directions," St. Croix Fire Chief Ovaldo Graham said Saturday night.
Graham described the scene as challenging and difficult for firefighters because of the electrical and other hazards they had to deal with. "It took us about 40 minutes to contain the fire and we eventually extinguished it in about an hour." Graham described the building as a complete loss. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the late afternoon blaze. Graham said an employee told fire investigators that she was in the kitchen preparing food when she briefly went out front to aid a patron. While at the front, she noticed smoke filling the kitchen and open flames "all over the deep fat fryer."
Graham said the intense fire was fueled by kitchen supplies – oil, grease and dry goods – and by the liquor in the bar area. While there were no injuries, two nearby buildings were threatened by the flames.
Five fire fighting units and sixteen firefighters were dispatched from the Cotton Valley fire station to battle the blaze.
Renato Rennie, who has operated the bar and restaurant for eight years, was not at the business when the fire broke out.
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