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HomeNewsArchivesFire Destroys Trailer and Shed Near Frederiksted

Fire Destroys Trailer and Shed Near Frederiksted

April 11, 2008 — A fire burned up a shed and a trailer full of tires Friday at Amigos service station, grocery and tire shop near Frederiksted.
The fire also burned up the electric meter and transfer box at the store, shutting the store until repairs can be made. Fire foam and half-burnt tires littered the ground, and black soot caked the side of the store, located next to Armstrong's Ice Cream.
The store was closed when the fire broke out. The power wire leading from the utility pole to the store's weather head began flashing and emitting sparks, then smoke and fire began, said an eyewitness who did not want to give his name.
Fire Marshal Alex Rivera was on the scene. The fire could have started with a short in the transfer box, which shifts between utility power and a backup generator when the power goes out, or it could be something on the Water and Power Authority end, he said. A short somewhere caused the power connection to overheat badly.
"We are still investigating and can't say for certain at this time," Rivera said. "You can see where the wire has melted all the way back to the pole. … It heated up like a giant toaster element."
The wire could have ignited material anywhere between the two points, he said.
While messy, the fire could have been much worse if fire codes had not been enforced, Rivera said.
"The reason the fire did not spread into the store is because the firewall required by code is in place," he said.
Tire fires are particularly difficult to put out, Rivera said: "We had four fire units here, and we almost exhausted all our foam just for this relatively little fire."
Numerous brush fires have strained the fire department recently, some of which appeared to be set intentionally, he said.
"Yesterday units were out from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. fighting brush fires," Rivera said. "Today was the same. A brush fire ignited a house yesterday, but we put it out quickly."
While people setting brush fires may not think they are causing major harm, the strain those fires put on firefighting resources puts lives at risk, he said.
"What if the units responding to this had already emptied their tanks on brush fires when they got this call?" he said.
The store owner was preoccupied with addressing the situation and unable to comment.
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April 11, 2008 -- A fire burned up a shed and a trailer full of tires Friday at Amigos service station, grocery and tire shop near Frederiksted.
The fire also burned up the electric meter and transfer box at the store, shutting the store until repairs can be made. Fire foam and half-burnt tires littered the ground, and black soot caked the side of the store, located next to Armstrong's Ice Cream.
The store was closed when the fire broke out. The power wire leading from the utility pole to the store's weather head began flashing and emitting sparks, then smoke and fire began, said an eyewitness who did not want to give his name.
Fire Marshal Alex Rivera was on the scene. The fire could have started with a short in the transfer box, which shifts between utility power and a backup generator when the power goes out, or it could be something on the Water and Power Authority end, he said. A short somewhere caused the power connection to overheat badly.
"We are still investigating and can't say for certain at this time," Rivera said. "You can see where the wire has melted all the way back to the pole. ... It heated up like a giant toaster element."
The wire could have ignited material anywhere between the two points, he said.
While messy, the fire could have been much worse if fire codes had not been enforced, Rivera said.
"The reason the fire did not spread into the store is because the firewall required by code is in place," he said.
Tire fires are particularly difficult to put out, Rivera said: "We had four fire units here, and we almost exhausted all our foam just for this relatively little fire."
Numerous brush fires have strained the fire department recently, some of which appeared to be set intentionally, he said.
"Yesterday units were out from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. fighting brush fires," Rivera said. "Today was the same. A brush fire ignited a house yesterday, but we put it out quickly."
While people setting brush fires may not think they are causing major harm, the strain those fires put on firefighting resources puts lives at risk, he said.
"What if the units responding to this had already emptied their tanks on brush fires when they got this call?" he said.
The store owner was preoccupied with addressing the situation and unable to comment.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.