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Dec 15, 2015

Family Who Lost Everything in Fire Asks for Assistance

The Christmas holidays are upon us, but for the Sanchez family of Belize City, there is little to look forward to. Last Friday, their belongings were destroyed when a fire spread through their house on the King’s Park area.  With nothing left except for the clothes on their backs, the family is attempting to rebuild their lives; but they need help. Duane Moody revisits with the Sanchez family.


Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, Nat’l Fire Service [File: December 11th, 2015]

“Upon arrival, the upper flat of a two storey structure was seen engulfed in flames. Following a preliminary size up, the national fire service immediately went into operation, extinguishing the fire. The fire was later brought under control and extinguished. As a result of the fire, a two storey structure was destroyed.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Around three-thirty last Friday morning, a fire broke at the corner of Hopkins and Third Streets in the King’s Park area of Belize City. The fire started in the upper flat in a backroom reportedly by a candle that was left unattended. The blaze spread quickly through the building and destroyed everything in its path, including all the household items and belongings of a family of three, who lived in the lower flat of the two-storey house. In the wake of the inferno, three persons were left homeless.


Rayford Sanchez

Rayford Sanchez, Fire Victim

“I woke up in the morning, I neva feel sleeping. I woke up in the Christmas mood and I neva feel sleepy…I started to shift around the sofa and put up wah lee curtain and about half an hour later, I started to hear like bottles breaking upstairs. So I thought it was the neighbor breaking pints, but I noh know the neighbor to do that. It sounded strange and I heard like bottle the break and the noise continued to get louder, harder and at that point I feel like they were breaking into my girlfriend’s car so I went to the window and when I look through the window at the backdoor, I saw fire coming through the back consuming the upstairs and that’s when I woke up my girlfriend.”


Donnalee Burns, Fire Victim

“I was sleeping and he rushed into the room and looked through the window to see if somebody was breaking into my car because of all the glass that was breaking. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but when I looked through the window, I just saw the fire blazing through the side of the door. And he said, try save yo stuff so I noh know what fi save. I try pull my chest of drawer, but it was heavy, so I tried save something else. And then I ran around di save nothing.”


Donnalee Burns

Rayford Sanchez and Donnalee Burns had been living in the area for about a year and stood watch as their home and life’s work was gutted by the inferno. Everything was destroyed including their recently bought household appliances, their cash and they only escaped with the clothes on their backs.


Rayford Sanchez

“We had all our stuff down there….everything ina wah house weh you could think about, we had. We lose everything. We lose everything. All I saved was two clothes for her and I managed to get the car out of the yard, but that’s it. Everything got consumed in the fire.”


Duane Moody

“What would you guys say was the loss that you guys sustained?”


Donnalee Burns

“It was like over eleven thousand dollars when we added up everything at the police station but we still forget certain items.”


They now have to start from scratch and the family is seeking assistance to recover from one of the most frightening ordeals they’ve experienced.


Donnalee Burns

“Right now we need assistance to try to get back some of the basic stuffs. I mean I had a stove. I thought that maybe courts would cover that but all they could do is close off the account and whatever balance; they can’t replace anything. So I just have to start over and get everything back. I mean right now school is out and in January school starts again and I have to be in Belize City again.”


Duane Moody

“So where are you guys staying? That was home.”


Donnalee Burns

“I’m with my mom and he is staying somewhere else at the moment.”


Rayford Sanchez

“Right now…try regroup…try get, or find somewhere else to live and get back everything and one day at a time right now, you know. We lose everything and nothing is the same right now. We are still in shock; we still noh believe what happened. Everything we lose…everything.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


If anyone would like to assist, please contact Burns at 669-6911 or Sanchez at 627-0319 or make deposits at Atlantic Bank Account number 210-55-1525.

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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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