Local USVI News

Man Pours Gasoline on Former Villa Morales Facility, Setting it Ablaze

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ST. CROIX — The former Villa Morales Restaurant in Estate Whim which was purchased by the V.I. Housing Finance Authority in 2019, was set on fire Monday night by a man who was seen pouring gasoline inside one of its offices, according to the V.I. Police Department.

The facility, which now provides emergency shelter beds, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing for the homeless, was a favorite location to dine and holds historic significance for many St. Croix residents.

According to V.I.P.D. Director of Communications Glen Dratte, the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call at 7:06 p.m. Monday from a woman reporting that a male was pouring gasoline inside the Community First Office in Whim, Frederiksted and lit the office area on fire. The building was fully engulfed.

Mr. Dratte said the V.I. Fire Service Responded to the scene along with the V.I.P.D. The blaze was eventually brought under control and extinguished.

According to police, while no injuries were reported, a suspect was taken into custody.

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