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Nov 20, 2015

Popular Ducunu Vendor Loses Everything in Morning Blaze

A father and son left their home on Allenby Street, Belize City, for work this morning; two hours later they got a distress call that their house was ablaze as smoke bellowed in the neighborhood. The two storey concrete building is located next to a primary school which had to be evacuated to ensure the safety of the children. Allison Reyes, a well known food vendor, resides on the top floor; he lost all his belongings as the fire swept through the upper flat.  The fire Department believes the blaze was caused by an electrical fault. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A fire this morning on Allenby Street completely gutted the upper flat of a two storey concrete structure.  While no one was at home at the time of the blaze, all indications, based on the outcome of a preliminary inquiry, are that it was the result of an electrical flaw.

 

Orin Smith, Operations Manager, National Fire Service

Orin Smith

“At 09:35 on Friday, twentieth of November, 2015, the National Fire Service received a call of a structural fire at number seventy-nine Allenby Street in Belize City.  On arrival at the scene, the upper flat of a two storey concrete structure was seen on fire.  Following a brief size up, the fire department got into operation to extinguish the fire.  The fire was later brought under control and extinguished.  As a result of the fire, the eastern half of the structure was severely damaged by the fire.”

 

Inside the residence are the charred remains of its furnishings.  A majority of those items were damaged by fire and water, leaving little that can be salvaged by its occupants.

 

Orin Smith

“We understand that there was an individual downstairs yes and that person went up to try and salvage what he can from the structure.  No information had been received from him whether he did or did not.”

 

Word of the incident caught the attention of police stationed in the area.  Their response was immediate.

 

Insp. Ernel Dominguez

Insp. Ernel Dominguez, Precinct One, Belize City Police

“As a result of that information, Precinct One personnel responded.  Me, as the person in charge, I came on the scene to assess, to see that all the measures are in place.  I must say that it was perfectly in order.  The fire service did arrive [and] they were able to contain the fire after at least about half an hour and I must say that so far it is the way it is.”

 

The property was not covered for damages and is said to have been occupied by two persons.  They left earlier this morning to get on with their business.  The call of a fire came two hours later.

 

Orin Smith

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire originated in a room in the northeast section of the structure.  It originated on a bed.  The structure was not insured and was owned by one Mr. Reyes.  Apparently the fire was the result of an electrical fault of a light above the bed.  A check on the electrical breaker shows that there were four breakers that had tripped as a result of the fire.”

Reporter:

“Was anyone in the house?”

 

Orin Smith

“Information we had received is that the last person had left the structure at around 7:30 this morning.  That individual said that the only thing left on the bed at the time he had left was a charger.  The charger was plugged into the wall but there was nothing plugged in at the charging end.  There was an iron on the floor beside the bed.  The iron was also plugged in but was turned off and had nothing to do with what caused the fire.”

Students at nearby Saint Ignatius Primary School had to be evacuated from their classrooms as the wind pattern blew the acrid plume in their direction.

 

Orin Smith

 “That was the result of wind direction blowing smoke towards the occupied school buildings.  As a result of that they had to evacuate that building.”

 

Reporter

“So everything was damaged?  I’m not sure if you could give an estimate.”

 

Orin Smith

“I can’t give an estimate.  No.  We would need somebody who could do an assessment of structure to give an estimated value as to the extent of damage pertaining to costs.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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