Fire at Citgo gas station blocks Five Corners intersection

The Citgo gas station and Xtra Mart was temporarily closed following a small electrical fire Monday night. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Tisbury firefighters extinguished a small electrical fire on the exterior of the Citgo Gas station and Xtra Mart building on Beach Road, shortly before 9 pm on Monday.

The fire and emergency response blocked Five Corners for approximately 30 minutes. The normally busy intersection was relatively quiet on a fog-shrouded night with a light mist falling.

Tisbury fire chief John Schilling said a lamp on an exterior security light melted a plastic casing and ignited a soffit vent. Mr. Schilling said the fire was small and caused little damage but required extra precautions given the electrical nature of its source and the location.

Store manager Joe McCarthy said two employees were on duty when they smelled smoke and called him at home. Mr. McCarthy said he told his employees to leave the building immediately. A passerby who spotted the flames called 911.

Mr. McCarthy said the emergency response was quick and professional. “Within minutes, everything was under control,” he told The Times as Chief Schilling left the scene. “I can’t say enough about the professionalism of Tisbury fire and police. It was just the most orderly emergency response I’ve seen in 25 years on the Vineyard.”

Mr. McCarthy said his gas station attendant, Ronaldo Lima, did exactly what he should do in an emergency. He hit the emergency shutoff button that prevents any fuel from going to the pumps.

Mr. McCarthy said it would be business as usual on Tuesday.