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Feb 25, 2015

Massive Fire Guts San Pedro Resort

An early morning inferno caused over half a million dollars in damages to the Exotic Caye Resort, on the island of San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The twenty year old resort went up in flames just after two this morning; three of its buildings with deluxe suites were gutted by the time the blaze was brought under control. But even as the fire was contained, there are serious disruptions in a period considered peak time for the tourism season.  Duane Moody has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Disaster struck once again on San Pedro…this time on Coconut Drive near the center of the island. A massive fire gutted three buildings at Exotic Caye Resort sometime after two this morning.  San Pedro police arrived on the scene shortly after the fire started, followed by fire fighters, who got into operation to quell the blaze. Several hours later, the fire was out, but the damage had been done.

 

Romar Rodriguez

Romar Rodriguez, Manager, Exotic Caye Resort

“I came very quickly to check and upon arriving, I saw that the fire was already getting into other buildings. As far as I know, the fire started about fifteen minutes earlier than when I saw the actual fire happening. When I got at the scene, I observed that the fire was already taken on two buildings while I was here and the fire engine was already here on the scene when I arrived. So they were trying to turn off the fire at that moment.  It wasn’t on the three structures that the fire started, it was on the laundry room that it started. That’s what we are determining right now. The fire marshal is saying that they believe it started from the laundry place. But security also gave me a report and I asked him where he saw the fire first and he told me he saw it from the laundry. He said he was trying to use a hose because it was a small little fire, but because it was a thatch roof laundry facility, the fire just catch very quickly and he couldn’t handle it. That’s when he started evacuating the guests quickly and calling the firemen.”

 

The fire started from the laundry facility and made its way via the thatched roofs to three buildings with several deluxe suites. Patrons inside the rooms at the time of the inferno were quickly escorted out of harm’s way and were accommodated at other resorts.

 

Romar Rodriguez

“There were about three structures that were destroyed which there were actually about four units in each structure that was destroyed by the fire.”

 

Duane Moody

“Was the building occupied?”

 

Romar Rodriguez

“At the moment, yes it was occupied. But when the security found that there was a fire at the laundry, he quickly informed all the guests and started knocking all the doors for the people to come out. They were able to take out most of their supplies; they had time enough to evacuate before any fire gets into the rooms. That’s the first order of business that I took care of – the guests to see where they were going to be staying. We do have another property called Grand Baymen Belize. We had several condos available for them to stay there, but some of them we couldn’t fit all of them because as you said, it is high season and we had the resort filled. So I was calling different managers in the hotel business and they were able to help us to accommodate others guests that we couldn’t find a suitable.”

 

While a complete assessment has not been carried out as yet, Resort Manager, Romar Rodriguez says that the estimated structural loss is valued at two hundred thousand dollars per building, equipment and furniture. But because of the high season for the tourism industry, the loss is even greater for the resort and Rodriguez says there is an urgency to restore the structures.

 

Ramor Rodriguez

“I would say about two hundred thousand dollars Belize in each building; that’s approximate, but I can’t tell you exactly how much we lost there.”

 

Reporter

“How many rooms are we speaking about?”

 

Ramor Rodriguez

“There are two buildings of four units and one building of two units.  The one building of two units are closely about one thousand square feet with the two units and the other two buildings with four units are approximately around five hundred and seventy-five square feet each.”

 

The structures according to Rodriguez were not insured. Duane Moody for News Five.

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