Minister for Transportation Works and Utilities, Honourable Kye M. Rymer, is commending emergency responders and residents of Princess Quarters along Copper Mine Road, Virgin Gorda, for their timely response to a house fire that happened earlier this week on Tuesday, January 18.
In recognising and admiring the public-private collaboration, Honourable Rymer said, “One of the finest human attributes is that when things seem to be at their worst, that is when people are at their best.”
The minister thanked the brave, hard-working Fire Officers of the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service and a strong, united Virgin Gorda community, who collectively “confronted, controlled and conquered” the fire through team work.
Agencies present included fire officers from the BVI Airports Authority, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Auxiliary Fire Officers, VISAR personnel, business owners Mr. Dwight and Ricardo Flax, the Public Works Department, other local heavy equipment owners, and many private residents of Virgin Gorda.
Honourable Rymer said, “I thank every member of the public who contributed to the night’s success, no matter your role. It was a triumphant demonstration of the best qualities of Virgin Islanders.”
In providing information about the incident, Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Zebalon McLean, said officers received the call of a fire on Virgin Gorda at 8:20 p.m. and arrived at the scene at 8:34 p.m.
Chief McLean said that, with assistance from the community, the fire was 75 percent extinguished and damping down commenced at about 10:00 p.m.
He explained that the fire was completely extinguished at around 12:09 a.m.
“The damage of the fire resulted in the total loss of the structure and all that it contained, including a vehicle,” he said.
While investigations are ongoing, Chief McLean is taking the opportunity to share fire safety prevention information and tips:
- Ensure nothing flammable is near a heat source. This a quick way to start a fire.
- Unattended candles cause hundreds of fires each year, even with safe holders. They should never be left unattended. It only takes a minute for a pet, a child, the wind or a person to knock a candle over onto flammable material.
- If equipment like grills are improperly used or not maintained, they become fire hazards.
- Frayed or chewed electrical cords start many house fires. Exposed electrical wires will light your floors or rugs on fire in no time. Prevent pets from chewing on electrical cords. This can create serious fire hazards.
- The kitchen is often the most fire-prone room in the house. Unattended pots, frying on the stove, toasters, hotplates, dishes that are not microwave-safe and cookbooks near naked flames or heat are the common causes of fires.
The Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service continues to carry out its mandate of protecting life, property and the environment, through a proactive approach to continuously enhance the quality of service provided. For more information, telephone the service at 468-4268 or 468-4182.