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A fire which occurred at about 5:00 a.m. this morning at the Henry Wilfred “Freddie” Smith Power Station in Pockwood Pond was successfully extinguished. A team on hand at the power plant successfully contained the fire with extinguishers and was given further support in the suppression of the fire by members of the BVI Fire and Rescue Service.
The fire originated with switchgear located in a formerly operational portion of the electricity plant. The fire contained to that area was successfully extinguished and a thorough assessment of damages will be conducted.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool has expressed gratitude to the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) and the BVI Fire and Rescue Service teams for their quick and responsive action to put out the fire.
"They reacted quickly and did a marvelous job," Minister Vanterpool stated. He went on to say that an initial assessment of the damages has determined that the fire has not delayed plans for restoring power to the Territory.
The Minister went on to praise the BVIEC team for their continuous and diligent work to restore electricity to the Territory. He stated that power has been restored to some areas of Pockwood Pond and has assured that the BVIEC team is working hard to restore power to other areas.
In a previous statement, the Communications and Works Minister said following the passage of Hurricane Irma, the BVI Electricity Cooperation along with the Premier and the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), took a very practical approach to get the main services, including the hospital and the other essential services such as Fire and Rescue and the Police up and running.
“Early on, the Premier instructed us to get the businesses back on track as quickly as possible to generate economic activity. The priority area this week will be the businesses on Main Street," Honourable Vanterpool added.
Honourable Vanterpool said, "a lot of work has been done and much progress has been made." The Minister for Communications and Works remains optimistic that by December, the continuous work on electricity would result in a lot of persons having power.
Since the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, power has been restored to supermarkets, gas stations in central areas, and other services including funeral homes, along with some areas in Long Swamp and Virgin Gorda.
Minister Vanterpool thanked the public for its patience and encouraged their cooperation when BVIEC utility vehicles are in their areas working diligently towards restoring electricity and other essentials services for the Territory’s residents.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed and dedicated to restoring and improving the electricity infrastructure in the Territory.