VIFD Responds Quickly to House Fire at Mare Blu

A pod, housing indoor and outdoor living areas, above center, caught fire quickly at Mare Blu in Estate Rendezvous.

Although the main pod of her house Mare Blu was gutted by fire last week, Teri Ackerman couldn’t bestow enough compliments on the V.I. Fire Department.

“The fire department was absolutely unbelievably wonderful,” said Ackerman. “Not only did they respond very quickly but they did no damage in the house putting out the fire. They were as nice and as helpful as they possibly could be.”

“We residents of St. John are so lucky to have such a dedicated and professional fire department,” Ackerman said. “I can’t thank them enough.”

While no one was injured in the blaze, guests were staying at Mare Blu, a rental villa in Rendezvous Bay, when a pod housing an indoor kitchen and living room as well as an outdoor kitchen and living room caught fire sometime early Saturday morning, March 26, according to Ackerman.

“I had renters in there and apparently what happened is they were burning citronella candles and using those bug coils and apparently they were not entirely extinguished before they went to bed,” said the home owner. “There is a big outdoor area which is kind of an outdoor living room area and there is couch with sunbrella-type cushions. They were burning the citronella candles and the bug coils and they weren’t out and the thing ignited.”

The sleeping renters weren’t the ones to discover the fire, according to Ackerman.

VIFD officials at the Cruz Bay station were alerted to the fire around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning by neighbors, the homeowner explained.

“The call came in around 4 or 5 a.m. early Saturday and no one was injured thank goodness,” she said. “We have neighbors who have dogs and their dogs woke the owners up and those neighbors called the fire department. That tells you too how wonderful people are on this island.”

Ackerman believes that the lit candles were not in proper containers, she added.

“People must be sure that all candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house,” she said “And things should not be burning unless they are in proper containers. I have heavy glass hurricane lamps, but those citronella candles were not in those lamps.”

While facing a complete rebuild of her pod containing the main living quarters of the house, which was just completed last year, Ackerman continued praising the VIFD.

“I really can’t thank them enough for what they did and how they helped me,” she said. “They went above and beyond and they were just so nice and professional. They really need to be given credit for this.”

“People need to know how lucky they are to have such a great Fire Department,” said Ackerman. “Fires are rare occasions, but the Fire Department could not have been any better. Everyone should know that our Fire Department is full of unbelievably dedicated people.”