Government House lowered its flags to half-staff Sunday in honor of V.I. firefighter Dwayne “Yogi” Thomas, one of the 119 firefighters added to the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial this weekend in Emmitsburg, Md.

Thomas, 57, who served 25 years with the V.I. Fire Service, died after driving a fire truck to the scene of a fire in January 2018 at Marley Homes on St. Croix.

His first cousin, the current director of the V.I. Fire Service, Daryl George, said Thomas’ death was a “great loss” to the department, given the 25 years of knowledge and experience that he brought to the table.

“He was a good person, a fun-loving guy and a great firefighter who loved his job,” George said.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 6-12 as Fire Prevention Week in the territory.

This year’s recognition, which has the theme “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape,” is commemorated nationally, and locally Fire Prevention Week is in honor of the V.I. Fire Service.

“[For Thomas] to be placed on that wall, it’s a great honor for the Virgin Islands and for the Thomas family,” George said. “To sacrifice your life doing the job you love is something very special to see.”

Every October, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation sponsors an official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. For more information, visit

— Contact A.J. Rao at 340-714-9104 or email