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Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesGarden Street Area Fire Leaves 19 Homeless; Historic Building Lost

Garden Street Area Fire Leaves 19 Homeless; Historic Building Lost

Firefighters batlle Monday's fire on Adele Gade.Nineteen people were left homeless but unharmed on Monday when a historic home near Garden Street was destroyed by a blaze that challenged firefighter crews.

“No one was hurt, none of the firefighters were injured – thank God,” V.I. Fire Service Assistant Director Daryl George said just before 9 p.m. on Monday as tired firefighters continued to comb the structure for lingering hot spots.

Now blackened, wet and gutted, the building at 5 Adele Gade was known as the Reese House because of its connection to the family of former Sen. Percival Reese, St. Thomas Historical Trust President Ronnie Lockhart said.

Lockhart said the wood structure was likely at least 150 years old and that it had been up for sale.

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George said 31 firefighters and seven pieces of equipment battled the blaze, which was reported to 911 shortly after 4 p.m.

The building was engulfed when firefighters arrived, and the flames were we difficult to contain, George said.

The fire trucks came loaded with water that quickly ran out, George said. Crews rushed to transmit water from hydrants on Main Street to the scene, and the blaze briefly regained strength when one of the hydrants collapsed, he said.

Despite these challenges, the fire was under control within an hour and half of firefighters’ arrival, George said.

Bunker Hill residents who had nervously watched the fire grow below their homes expressed relief that the fire did not spread.

Many said they appreciated how the firefighters encircled the entire area and were ready to intervene if the flames had fanned further out.

George said the cause of the fire is still under investigation and that it is not believed to be suspicious.

As of 9 p.m., Red Cross officials were working to find temporary housing for the home’s displaced tenants, many of whom are children, George said.

In addition to the Fire Service and Red Cross, representatives from the V.I. Police Department, V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, V.I. Water and Power Authority, V.I. Public Works, St. Thomas Rescue, St. Thomas EMS, V.I. Health and Human Services and the Red Cross responded to the scene.

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Firefighters batlle Monday's fire on Adele Gade.Nineteen people were left homeless but unharmed on Monday when a historic home near Garden Street was destroyed by a blaze that challenged firefighter crews.

“No one was hurt, none of the firefighters were injured – thank God,” V.I. Fire Service Assistant Director Daryl George said just before 9 p.m. on Monday as tired firefighters continued to comb the structure for lingering hot spots.

Now blackened, wet and gutted, the building at 5 Adele Gade was known as the Reese House because of its connection to the family of former Sen. Percival Reese, St. Thomas Historical Trust President Ronnie Lockhart said.

Lockhart said the wood structure was likely at least 150 years old and that it had been up for sale.

George said 31 firefighters and seven pieces of equipment battled the blaze, which was reported to 911 shortly after 4 p.m.

The building was engulfed when firefighters arrived, and the flames were we difficult to contain, George said.

The fire trucks came loaded with water that quickly ran out, George said. Crews rushed to transmit water from hydrants on Main Street to the scene, and the blaze briefly regained strength when one of the hydrants collapsed, he said.

Despite these challenges, the fire was under control within an hour and half of firefighters' arrival, George said.

Bunker Hill residents who had nervously watched the fire grow below their homes expressed relief that the fire did not spread.

Many said they appreciated how the firefighters encircled the entire area and were ready to intervene if the flames had fanned further out.

George said the cause of the fire is still under investigation and that it is not believed to be suspicious.

As of 9 p.m., Red Cross officials were working to find temporary housing for the home's displaced tenants, many of whom are children, George said.

In addition to the Fire Service and Red Cross, representatives from the V.I. Police Department, V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, V.I. Water and Power Authority, V.I. Public Works, St. Thomas Rescue, St. Thomas EMS, V.I. Health and Human Services and the Red Cross responded to the scene.