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Acting Gov. Potter Orders Firefighters, Police To BVI To Help Control Landfill Blaze

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ROAD TOWN, Tortola – Acting Governor Osbert Potter has authorized the United States Virgin Islands Fire and Police departments to assist the Government of the British Virgin Islands with extinguishing a massive landfill blaze that erupted Wednesday night.

Potter said his action is in response to a request from the Premier of the British Virgin Islands Orlando Smith.

Seven firefighters from the territory’s Fire Service and three VI Police Department Marine Unit officers deployed on Thursday to provide assistance and technical resources.

The fire is primarily kindled with construction debris at the Cox Heath Dump Site on Tortola.

The territory’s first responders will assist the BVI Fire and Rescue Service and others on Tortola who have already responded to the emergency.

“I am pleased we are able to assist our neighbors in the British Virgin Islands,” Acting Governor Potter said. “First responders from both territories are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”

Representatives from the VI Fire Service are: Fire Chief Oral Wheatley, Deputy Fire Chief Leonard Fabian, Deputy Fire Chief Antonio Stevens, Fire Marshal Johnny Frontal, Fire Lieutenant David Hodge, Fire Lieutenant Keno Walcott and Fire Corporal Michael Wilkinson. Sergeant Cornel Espirit, Officer Ashlee Hodge and Officer Jaime Serrano are the responders from the VI Police Department Marine Unit.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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