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Firefighters Respond To 3-Alarm Fire That Drove Ruby M. Rouse Resident From Home

CHRISTIANSTED — Firefighters on St. Croix responded to three-alarm fire near Watergut on Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The 911 Emergency Call Center dispatched Virgin Islands Fire Service personnel from the Herbert L. Canegata Fire Station (Richmond) to a reported structure fire at the Ruby M. Rouse Housing Community about 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, Government House said.

Two units from the station initially responded, and an additional unit from the Renceliar I. Gibbs Fire Station (Cotton Valley) later traveled to assist, according to Government House.

Once at the scene, first arriving crews observed smoke coming from a second story apartment and commenced firefighting operations. They were later joined by a fire crew from the Cotton Valley Fire Station. Using approximately 1,200 gallons of water, fire personnel extinguished the fire within 30 minutes.

The occupant of the residence was overcome by smoke and was given medical attention, VIFS said.

Although fire personnel were able to contain the fire to a southeastern bathroom, adjacent rooms sustained smoke and water damage.

The American Red Cross, which assists victims of fire was notified.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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