Fire suppression system discharges at VTA


Fire officials were at the scene of the Vineyard Transit Authority Saturday where the automatic fire extinguishing equipment released a white powdery substance on the pumps where the buses are fueled. The VTA headquarters is located inside the Airport Business Park.

According to Edgartown Deputy Fire Chief R. Andrew Kelly, it appears to be a malfunction and could be a wiring issue, but the incident remains under investigation. The fire suppression system contains BC powder, which is a dry chemical agent used to suppress fires, Kelly told The Times.

Similar systems are used at all gas stations so that gas fires can be quickly extinguished.

White powder is all over the fuel pumps and the area underneath and surrounding the canopy. The state Department of Environmental Protection was contacted, Kelly said, and gave the go-ahead to begin cleaning up the site with water.

Darren Morris, a VTA employee at the scene, said he doesn’t expect it will impact bus service on the Island. If they can’t get the fuel pumps reopened, buses can fuel up at other locations on the Island, he said.

“The fire suppression system went off for no apparent reason and we’re looking into why,” Helen Leon-Guerrero, anoter VTA employee, told The Times. “It has never happened before.”

There was one Edgartown fire engine and one police cruiser at the scene. The AARF truck from the Martha’s Vineyard Airport has also responded to the scene.

George Brennan contributed to this report.


  1. It may be OBVIOUSLY related to VTA hiring untrained, uncertified strike breaking workers, who are dangerously supporting the VTA’s efforts to deny its workers a living wage and a punitive health care package. Duh.

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