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Apr 24, 2015

Investigations Into Belize City Fire Ongoing

The month of April has been a record month for 2015 when it comes to fires. Across the country, there have been several fires since the start of April, gutting a spiritual temple in Baranco and many other homes of numerous families. While most are still reeling from the disaster, on Thursday in Belize City, another family was devastated when the place they called home for the past six years, went up in flames. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before two p.m. on Thursday, disaster struck at a house on Partridge Street Extension in the Lake Independence area of the city. An elevated wooden house was consumed by flames as firefighters would soon after arrive to extinguish the inferno. But all would be lost, including the structure and its contents.

 

Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, Belize National Fire Service

“The national fire service received and had responded to a call of a structural fire at number 1041 Partridge Street Extension address, Belize City. On arrival on scene, we saw a plycem structure with zinc roofing, elevating approximately twelve feet off ground, engulfed in flames. Following a brief size-up, the fire was later brought under control and extinguished. The plycem structure was gutted as a result of the fire.”

 

The wooden house was home to Edith Valentine and three other persons, but luckily no one was at home at the time of the blaze. Her mother, Grizelle Robinson, was notified shortly after the fire started.

 

Grizelle Robinson, Mother of Edith Valentine [File: April 23rd, 2015]

“I deh lay down because every afternoon I tek wah rest cause I have wah pain. So mi nephew seh he gwein out and he gawn out. When he come he call me and seh Aunty, Aunty…Aunty Edith house deh pon fire. When I wake up I only see the blaze. Like how I sick, I can’t run deh so all I do dah stand up and cry. I can’t do nothing.”

 

Grizelle Robinson

Reporter

“You have any indication what could have started it…has anybody told you anything yet?”

 

Grizelle Robinson

“Nobody noh tell me nothing. I just gawn ask the man weh midi write down thing and he tell me he noh hear nothing. I noh even gawn up deh. Everything, everything…and ih midi try build ih house an soh. Everything…I know everything from I see the blaze I know ih lose everything. I noh even gawn up deh yet.”

 

As investigations continue into the cause of the fire, officials confirm that the fire started in one of the bedrooms.

 

Orin Smith

“Investigation revealed that the fire started on the northwest bedroom of the structure. There were evidence of beading or arching rather seen on the electrical wiring of the ceiling which hang above the bed area. But there has been no conclusion drawn as to whether the fire is electrical or there was some other factors involved. The investigation is still presently ongoing.”

 

But the Valentine’s were renting the house from Lavern Stevens, a retired sixty-two-year-old Belize City resident, who also lost her life’s work in the blaze.

 

Lavern Stevens

Lavern Stevens, House Owner

“I was home relaxing from the doctor and when I got home, my sister phone ringing and then she tell me “Lav” yo house is on fire. I said my house on fire? And she said yes. I didn’t go there right away because I couldn’t move; I started crying. I said my house on fire, I said well my, I’ve been struggling for a long time to try and build that house and now it caught fire. But I don’t blame anybody because it was an accident apparently.  All I want the public to do is try and assist me to get back the house.”

 

Duane Moody

“What would you say is the value of the house?”

 

Lavern Stevens

“The value of the house is like twenty thousand dollars. That’s the value of the house.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Stevens can be reached at 628-6069 or 600-3754 by anyone who would like to assist her in recovering her house. 

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