A major fire at Ebeye Triple J caused significant damage Monday, displacing many Ebeye hospital doctors and nurses who lived at Triple J apartments affected by the blaze. Triple J’s bakery was also damaged and expected to be out of order for at least a few days.
The fire started about 9am in an upstairs apartment at Triple J, the largest retail and wholesale grocery store on Ebeye.
Ebeye’s fire truck arrived arrived within minutes, followed quickly by KALGov and national police and KAJUR utility water trucks.
Kwajalein Atoll Development Authority Director Carl Hacker, who was having coffee across the street at the time of the Monday morning fire, provided an update on what happened:
Triple J staff, national and KALGov police, and KAJUR utility staff worked together to get hoses out, connected, and focused on the fire. Approximately 10 minutes after the fire truck arrived, the first KAJUR water truck arrived and started filling the water tank on the fire truck.
Within another 10 minutes, the second KAJUR water truck arrived along with Triple J forklift. By this time, fire had spread from the front of the building toward the center of the building, especially under the ceiling roof. The forklift was used to tear holes in the side of building and lifted hoses onto the roof. All the while the KAJUR water trucks were pumping water into the fire truck.
At about 10am, the situation was brought under control. No serious injuries, other than minor cases of smoke inhalation were reported.
“The Triple J fast food manager and one of the Triple J custodial staff, from what I saw, should be singled out and commended for their reaction to the fire,” said Hacker. “All other organizations and staff did a good job and worked very well together. We should see if we can get a ‘Lessons Learned’ from all involved — but more training needs to be looked at for Fire/Police and keeping the fire hydrants in the Ebeye Water and Sanitation project seems essential and necessary.”
A significant number of Ebeye hospital staff, doctors and nurses, have been displaced, said Hacker. RMI officials were working to get them into new living arrangements.
Triple J store/fast food on the first floor had significant water damage, and the kitchen/bakery has been knocked out of commission for a few days, maybe more, said Hacker.
Read more about this in the June 10, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.