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Apr 8, 2015

Fire Victim Fighting for Life

Katerin Michelle Perez

On Tuesday, we reported on seven fires, three which were arsons. But there is a more tragic case in which a young student from San Pedro was severely burnt. Tonight, nine year old Katerin Michelle Perez is fighting for her life after she was badly burned on Good Friday in what can only be classified as a terrible freak accident. It happened at around seven-thirty that night in the DFC area of the island. According to reports, Katerin was being treated for head lice with gasoline rubbed on her scalp. She walked by a lit stove and was immediately engulfed in flames. Her mother, Carolina Dominguez Mesa, and father, Roberto Perez, frantically tried to help her and both were also injured in the attempt. Today, News Five spoke to a neighbour who told us what she saw of the horrible accident.


Voice of: Miriam Zaldivar, Eyewitness

“Well I was coming out of my house. I was coming out to go into town and I heard screaming. I started to run towards their house and when I reached there I could see fire in the house through the window. I was prepared to go in the house but by the time I reached the door the fire was out already. And then I saw the dad coming out with the child. I never even recognized her until after she started talking. She was in a horrible state. It was really scary and ugly. She was already burnt. The fire was already out.”



“I know this is hard for you but would you be able to describe for us exactly what you saw when you went inside and when you saw them coming out.”


Voice of: Miriam Zaldivar

“I saw the dad holding the girl in his arms bringing her out of the house. When I looked at the child her face was completely white. All the skin was already burned off and her hair was all burned up. She kept saying Daddy daddy hurt daddy and all the skin was peeling off her back already. He was holding her out screaming help me help me…somebody take me to the doctor. And that’s when I asked my husband to bring over the truck and he brought the truck over and he put them in the truck. I saw too that the mom was burnt and I put her in the truck and took her to the polyclinic where they started getting attention immediately after.”



“Was the mother badly burned as well?”


Voice of: Miriam Zaldivar

“Yes. Her hands were bleeding. The skin from her arms were hanging off her hands already and the doctor in Belize City said that it was second degree burns that she received on the inside of her hands, and her arms have first degree burns and her face also.”


If there is any bright spot at all in the tragedy, it is that with the help of concerned and very generous persons, on Monday, young Katerin was flown out to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Boston. But her injuries are indeed severe, as doctors there say she suffered third-degree burns to fifty-three percent of her upper body, and if she does survive, it is unlikely that she will regain her vision or the use of her arms. While her father is with her in Boston, Katerin’s mother is receiving treatment for her own serious burns at the K.H.M.H.  Friends of the family are planning a fund-raising effort to help the family this weekend in San Pedro, and if you would like to help you can contact telephone 628-3514 for more information. We’ll keep following this story for updates on Katerin.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Fire Victim Fighting for Life”

  1. country gyal says:

    Such an unfortunate tragedy all because of the parents not treating the little girls lice with the proper medication. Short cuts almost always never work out correctly. Now the little girl is paralyzed for life IF she survives.

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