Firefighters Battle St. John Apartment Building Blaze for More than 14 Hours

On Sunday, March 20, at 9.48 p.m., a structure fire in Estate Grunwald was reported. Fire crews were immediately dispatched to the structure.

Fire personnel from Cruz Bay and Coral Bay responded to a structure fire on St. John on Sunday. (Source file photo)

The six fire personnel and two units assigned to the Cruz Bay Fire Station initially responded to the scene and found a three-story wooden structure fully engulfed in flames and promptly commenced firefighting operations, according to a press release from the V.I. Fire Service.

Four additional fire personnel from Coral Bay arrived on the scene within 20 minutes to assist the first set of fire personnel, the release stated.

The blaze was battled for a little over 14 hours. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire with the help of private water haulers, according to the Fire Service. Over 60,000 gallons of water and over 1,000 feet of hose were used to battle the blaze. In total, two tankers, one pumper, and one rescue vehicle were deployed to the scene.

Five firefighters were treated on the scene for minor injuries, and then two of the five were transported to the Myrah Keating Smith Clinic, where they were examined by a doctor and then released, the release stated.

The structure, a 9-unit apartment complex, sustained significant damage. However, none of the residents reported any injuries, according to the Fire Service. It said representatives from the American Red Cross were on-site to assist.

“I must commend the members of the Fire Service who responded to this fire,” said VIFS Director Daryl George. “They did a tremendous job. The courage and determination they displayed is truly admirable. I would be remiss if I did not also acknowledge Prestige Water Delivery, B & C Trucking, Truck King, and L&N Trucking for supplying water on the scene. They played a major role in the success of our operations, and we are grateful for their assistance.”

The fire remains under investigation by the Arson Investigation and Prevention Unit.