BVI News

UPDATE: Gas station fire contained (photos)

The fire reportedly started inside one of these two vehicles parked outside what remains of VI Motors’ office building. (Photo by Esther Durand/BVI News)

The fire at Virgin Islands Motors in Duffs Bottom, Tortola is now contained.

Government gave the advisory minutes before 5pm on Saturday, July 21.

“The road in Duffs Bottom is now open and motorists are free to traverse the area. Persons who may have been exposed to the smoke resulting from the fire or experiencing any adverse effects of inhalation should visit a doctor or hospital,” government said.

Residents in the area had been advised to evacuate when the fire started around 2pm. However, they are now told it is safe to return, BVI News understands.


A massive fire has broken out at VI Motors gas station in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola.

When BVI News arrived at the location, multiple private and public agencies were already at the scene trying to out the blaze.

The fire reportedly started around 2pm on July 21. It is not clear how it started but employees at the gas station told BVI News they were prompted to evacuate the area upon seeing a vehicle parked on the compound in flames.

The fire reportedly spread to VI Motors’ office buildings.  Firefighters, along with assistance from the BVI Electricity Corporation, private water-trucking companies, among other entities are now trying to contain the blaze from spreading to the pump stations.

Police have cordoned the area.

“The public is asked to avoid the area and motorists are advised to traverse alternate routes,” government said in an afternoon advisory.

Below are scenes from the incident captured by BVI News:

Scene from the July 21 fire at VI Motors gas station in Duff’s Bottom. (Photo by Esther Durand/BVI News)

The fire has consumed the office buildings at VI Motors gas station in Duffs Bottom, Tortola. (Photo by Davion Smith/BVI News)

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  1. /////// says:

    And how long did it take the Fire Brigade and Police to arrive on the scene? At least half and hour! From Road Town to Duff’s Bottom.

    Like 7
    Dislike 17
    • Truth says:

      Did anyone call them ? Or everybody just had out their phones assuming someone else did…. ????

      Like 25
      Dislike 3
    • Inquiring says:

      Why did the fire trucks have to come from the airport instead?

      Like 8
      Dislike 8
      • Hmm says:

        One of the problems fire personnel faced was the availability of runing water. The third barely have water (portable) coming through…could have been worse. Thanks to all the water trucks that aided and also fire personnel from the out station.

        Like 14
        Dislike 1
        • Wah happen to the employees says:

          The first responder to the fire should have been the employees….what happen to their fire extinguisher….everybody turn reporter then…that fire could have been contained by the staff

          Like 7
          Dislike 3
          • Jenn says:

            But when Paul George was going to see what he can do, you can hear one of the female workers saying “whey Paul going, wha wrong wid he”
            I raise my hat to you Paul.

    • Shut up says:

      SHUT UP!!!!!!!

      Like 1
      Dislike 4
  2. Understanding says:

    We have to be reasonable! The roads are not in a good condition. The Fire truck is a big vehicle could you imagine trying to get there with all them potholes?

    Let’s give our first responders some credit they are working in less than ideal conditions.

    Like 34
    Dislike 6
  3. Anonymous says:

    Road Town fire uses water

    Beef Island fire uses foam

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  4. Well done....... says:

    Hats off to our fire officers for risking their lives and containing the fire. Thank God you are all safe and thank you again for a job well done. To the owners of the water trucks that were there assisting, thanks to you as well. May God bless you all. We could have had a major catastrophe had it not been for you guys.

    Like 32
  5. Retired says:

    If the BVI’s $2.5 million multi-service vessel had been operational it could have extinguished the blaze with its monitor from Drakes’s Channel. This fire was approx. 100m from the shoreline. Unfortunately this highly capable vessel has become a monument in the Nanny Cay boatyard for the last 4 years. Why?

    Monitor – a high pressure water jet nozzle mounted on the deck of a firefighting vessel capable of shooting sea water 4-500m horizontally or 2-300m vertically.

    Like 13
    • Nonsense says:

      How could they let that happen? If Indepedence is the language being touted, things like this should be priority. We should at least be able to protect the lives of people.

  6. Me says:

    Thankfully the fire was contained which is the main thing and there was no major damage to the fuel station and main buildings and persons vehicles in the garage. This is a major risk to all surrounding areas and it’s good to know that water trucks are available in times like this. Fire is no joke. Thank you to all who assisted in one way or another. What I don’t understand is that vehicle parked on the road, the Toyota truck. Why is it so near? A gas station might blow up anytime and persons standing so close watching on. People be careful in these situations. If you are not a first responder stay a safe distance. My two cents.

    Like 14
  7. ,,,, says:

    This could have been worst thanks for the fire trucks and private water trucks if they were depending on water from the hydrant in DUFFS BOTTOM alllllll buildings in Duffs Bottom close by would have burned to the ground because Duffs Bottom do not get water its a shame big shame NO WATER i guess they are waiting for something more serious to happen

    Like 11
  8. Tallfat says:

    Am happy no life I was lost. Cud is to the Fire dept and others who brought about a good result. But there’s many little things that’s happening right before our eyes that we take for granted. Most of them are duties of government and they’re not been met. 1. Why the their district can’t get water more days in the week and more hours. Let’s face it since NDP got in this been happening. 2. The fire station is an eyesore right in the city these responders can’t feel like they’re important. It’s almost September so what a gwarn? 3. Sol gas stations workers have to be working without no roof over their heads , sun beating down and the gas must be served. It’s clear that money is being made but still nothing get fixed. It appears that labour can’t, won’t look into this obvious hazardous condition. Where does the government stand on enforcing the standards under the labour code. The labour minister was quite elated expressing his happiness that there is no Union. So anything is anything.

  9. $350,000 a year says:

    With the kind of money the recovery agency CEO making, he better be on the scene of every disaster past, present and future.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
    • Oh says:

      Nothing about the local civil servants collectively making millions to sit on their asses? There is a reason that much dont change even when Ministers and govt change. Some day soon we will wake up and see what the real problem is.

  10. Folitical Obsever (PO) says:

    Thankfully, the fire resulted in no loss of life nor major personal injury(s) and just property damage. Neverheless, it exposed a critical weakness in the overall response readiness, capacity and capability of the Fire Service. This weakness is a major quality of life issue. The fire occurred in Duff Bottom and the engine company from Road Town, the nearest engine company, should have been supported initially from engine companies in West End, East End and closer engine companies than than TBLIA. Instead, the TBLIA had to suspend operations to assist; TBLIA engine company responding should have been a secondary/last resort.

    Nonetheless, yo protect life and property, fire protection and suppressant must be a top priority for funding. Health, public safety (fire, police, national security), education……..etc in that order. The BVI had the opportunity and resources to be First World yet it is floundering at the Third World level. It must do more better; that is poor English but reflects how bad things are. The BVI is taking too much of a gamble; too much unnecessary risk. We (BVI) should be in a better position and farther down the progress road than we are. We need to exploit/leverage our strengths, minimize our weaknesses, take advantage of our opportunities and avoid threats. The BVI failures rest on the shoulders of successive governments. There are no Pilates here.

    Ok. Back to fire protection and suppressant issue. Government needs to map out the territory and fire stations strategically sited. Further, there should be minimum response times for responsing to fire and other emergency events. To attain this standard and hold engine companies responsible, the territory must invest in facilities, equipment, education and training (on going)……..etc.

    The downtown time between responding to events (which is the majority of the time) should be spent preparing for events. By the way, the sister Islands must get the same attention as Tortola. Fire protection and suppression must be a top priority for the next government. Well he…l no; we need to make it happen now.

    Like 14
  11. The boys says:

    Will be happy.

    • @the Boys says:

      The gas station didn’t burn completely. I believe it’s just the office. It is still operational I am sure. There’s no reason for anyone else to be happy at someone else’s demise.

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