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HomeNewsArchivesVIPA Commends All Emergency Responders Who Helped VIFD Extinguish Gas Station Fire

VIPA Commends All Emergency Responders Who Helped VIFD Extinguish Gas Station Fire

Virgin Islands Port Authority Airport Rescue Fire Fighters at the Cyril E. King Airport made an unusual, off-airport emergency run to the eastern end of St. Thomas this weekend to assist the V.I. Fire Service with an explosion at Gas Works gas station located in Estate Bovoni.
VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe explained that it is very rare that the airport fire apparatus ever leave the airport. The decision to use the airport’s fire equipment was not made lightly. However, when he received a call from the St. Thomas/Water Island Administrator and VI Fire Service officials requesting assistance with suppressing a fuel fire at Gas Works, Dowe said the Port Authority firefighters were more than willing to assist with protecting lives and property. Fire Services requested the Port Authority’s assistance since the airport fire fighters specialize in extinguishing aircraft and hydrocarbon fuel fires which burn at hotter temperatures than structural fires.
The CEKA fire crew assured Dowe that the final jet had landed and all other inbound flights were taken care of. They dispatched from the King Airport around 9:15 p.m. with three of its fire apparatus and 14 of VIPA’s firefighters. They used an Oshkosh Striker and an Oshkosh T-1500, each carrying 1,500 gallons of water and 200 gallons of fire retardant foam. They also used a quick response fire truck equipped with 450 pounds of dry chemical – a powder-based fire retardant. The VIPA crew assisted the VI Fire Service firefighters with extinguishing the blaze at the fuel tanks at the gas station. VIPA ARFF Chief Derek Smith said that due to the quick response of both fire crews working together, they were able to prevent the explosion of an additional five gas tanks stored at the site – each containing thousands of gallons of fuel.
The VIPA fire apparatus were back at the King Airport fire station by 12 midnight. The ARFF crew had inspected, cleaned and replenished all the trucks by 2:30 a.m. in preparation for the arrival of the morning flights.
Dowe said he highly commends the VIPA firefighters and the Law Enforcement Officers that responded. He also wanted to thank the other emergency responders, government agencies and the private water haulers that came out to assist with the incident Saturday night. Dowe also mentioned that it was rewarding to him to see the $1 million ladder unit purchased by VIFD over a year ago being put to use during the extinguishing of the fire on Saturday. “It was a great community effort. Government is at its best when we work together. The loss of life was of utmost concern to us, and our hearts go out to the two persons injured in the fire. We wish them a speedy recovery. I personally know the Lima family and with perseverance, they will rebuild,” Dowe said.

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Virgin Islands Port Authority Airport Rescue Fire Fighters at the Cyril E. King Airport made an unusual, off-airport emergency run to the eastern end of St. Thomas this weekend to assist the V.I. Fire Service with an explosion at Gas Works gas station located in Estate Bovoni.
VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe explained that it is very rare that the airport fire apparatus ever leave the airport. The decision to use the airport’s fire equipment was not made lightly. However, when he received a call from the St. Thomas/Water Island Administrator and VI Fire Service officials requesting assistance with suppressing a fuel fire at Gas Works, Dowe said the Port Authority firefighters were more than willing to assist with protecting lives and property. Fire Services requested the Port Authority’s assistance since the airport fire fighters specialize in extinguishing aircraft and hydrocarbon fuel fires which burn at hotter temperatures than structural fires.
The CEKA fire crew assured Dowe that the final jet had landed and all other inbound flights were taken care of. They dispatched from the King Airport around 9:15 p.m. with three of its fire apparatus and 14 of VIPA’s firefighters. They used an Oshkosh Striker and an Oshkosh T-1500, each carrying 1,500 gallons of water and 200 gallons of fire retardant foam. They also used a quick response fire truck equipped with 450 pounds of dry chemical – a powder-based fire retardant. The VIPA crew assisted the VI Fire Service firefighters with extinguishing the blaze at the fuel tanks at the gas station. VIPA ARFF Chief Derek Smith said that due to the quick response of both fire crews working together, they were able to prevent the explosion of an additional five gas tanks stored at the site – each containing thousands of gallons of fuel.
The VIPA fire apparatus were back at the King Airport fire station by 12 midnight. The ARFF crew had inspected, cleaned and replenished all the trucks by 2:30 a.m. in preparation for the arrival of the morning flights.
Dowe said he highly commends the VIPA firefighters and the Law Enforcement Officers that responded. He also wanted to thank the other emergency responders, government agencies and the private water haulers that came out to assist with the incident Saturday night. Dowe also mentioned that it was rewarding to him to see the $1 million ladder unit purchased by VIFD over a year ago being put to use during the extinguishing of the fire on Saturday. “It was a great community effort. Government is at its best when we work together. The loss of life was of utmost concern to us, and our hearts go out to the two persons injured in the fire. We wish them a speedy recovery. I personally know the Lima family and with perseverance, they will rebuild,” Dowe said.