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Mar 30, 2005

House burns down; child believed responsible

Story PictureFire struck today in Belize City but investigators will not have to work too hard to figure out how it started. I arrived on the scene as the unfortunate family was putting the pieces together.

Patrick Jones
The mid afternoon fire on Police Street extension has left seven people without a roof over their heads. According to Pedrina White, she was inside the house when one of her grandchildren informed her that the house was on fire.

Pedrina White, Fire Victim
?This afternoon I was lying down with my grandson and my granddaughter. So I told her let her go get some water to mix the baby?s battle and asked her where the other kids are and she told me they were right under the house playing. So she gone to get the water and when she came back she told me ?granny fire under the house bottom?. So I told her well hold the baby let me go see where the fire is. By the time I ran out there and peeped under the house, the front part of my daughter?s house was mi done catch already from underneath the house bottom. So I took a basin of water and threw it and I ran out and called my neighbours and asked them is they could please come help me.?

But the neighbours attempts to out the fire were unsuccessful and the small wooden bungalow burned to the ground.

Pedrina White
?George nobody never deh yah. Only me and they pickney. I was in my room di lay down pan my bed with Jaron and she mi di get water out of your house to give the baby.?

George, Family Member
?Dah who light the fire??

Pedrina White
?Your lee boy carried the fire stick weh mi light out here
after Michelle done with the fire and he set it on old mattress that Erwin sleeps on.?

White believes that this three year old boy was the one who set the fire that burned down her house. She was unable to save any of her belongings and now has to start all over again, the second time in ten years that she has lost her house to fire.

Patrick Jones
?Any idea how the fire started??

Pedrina White
?Well it started with the fire stick because she was the one who came to alert me that the fire was on the mattress di burn. When I looked underneath there it was burning already.?

Patrick Jones
?So there was a mattress under the house??

Pedrina White
?Yes, an old mattress that my son sleeps on because we don?t make him sleep inside because he does a lot of things out of way. So I don?t let him sleep inside my house.?

Patrick Jones
?So dah just children playing that caused the fire.?

Pedrina White
?Yes a piece of fire stick caused the fire weh the lee boy set pan the mattress.?

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