Home News Local news FIRE ENGULFS HOUSE ON ST. PETER MOUNTAIN

FIRE ENGULFS HOUSE ON ST. PETER MOUNTAIN

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March 14, 2003 – Fire destroyed a part-wood, part-masonry residence on St. Peter Mountain shortly before 6 p.m. Friday. Residents summoned firefighters from the Dorothea and Charlotte Amalie fire stations as the pungent black smoke filled the evening sky and licks of orange flame quickly consumed the wooden rafters of the house.
Fire officials said the dwelling was owned by St. Thomas businessman Denny Bryan and was rented to Lofton Holder, an assistant attorney general.
Holder, who arrived on the scene as the firefighting effort was in progress, reportedly had left his home minutes before 5 p.m. It was less than half an hour later that area residents said they smelled burning wood and called 911 for assistance from the V.I. Fire Service.
The noise of sirens filled the air around 5:45 p.m. as three fire trucks raced to the scene above St. Peter Mountain Road. Smoke filled the air more than a mile away from the blaze, causing eyes to water and sting.
By the time three fire units arrived on the scene, the residence was already a complete loss, with flames pouring from the front and western end of the structure.
Neighbors watched as about a dozen firefighters and a St. Thomas Rescue member hauled the water hoses up the steep hillside to fight the inferno. The white plastic lattice lining of the porch crumpled and fell to the ground as firefighters doused the burning structure with water from the hoses spread across the property.
Fire officials at the scene said no one was inside when the fire erupted and no injuries were reported in the course of the two hours it took to contain and extinguish the blaze.
The charred remains of the residence continued to smolder as night fell on the hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
As firefighters continued mop-up operations, Fire Service investigators were poised to begin gathering information to determine the cause and origin of the blaze.
Police officers also responded to the scene, to document the incident.
Shaun A. Pennington and W. Bostwick also contributed to this report.

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