The V.I. Police Department has identified the person who died Friday in a fire that destroyed a part-wood, part-masonry home on Commandant Gade, but have not yet learned if the fire was caused by arson.
Melody Rames, VIPD public information officer, said Wednesday the victim was Onassis Vanterpool, a 31-year-old man.
Arson investigators from V.I. Fire Services, along with police forensic investigators, were at the scene of the blaze after firefighters finished extinguishing it. Rames said the police have not yet received the report from Fire Services about the cause of the fire or whether foul play was involved, and that they did not comment on other aspects of the case.
According to two informed sources, Vanterpool had been involved in a previous homicide. Details of his involvement were not available. The sources said Vanterpool had been paralyzed from the waist down due to gun violence and was not ambulatory at the time of the fire.
Four fire-fighting vehicles and 10 firefighters from the Fort Christian and Fortuna fire stations had spent Friday morning in a training exercise at Magens Bay and were returning to their stations when they responded to the alarm, which came in at 1:15 p.m.
The physical address of the house was No. 10 OV Commandant Gade. All Saints Cathedral School, which is adjacent to the property where the fire took place, was evacuated a safeguard.