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Nov 21, 2016

Lit Candle Knocks Out Home of Ex-Boxing Champ Carlton Bowers

In the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Carlton Bowers was Belize’s welterweight boxing champion. He was a local hero and entertained hundreds in fights at the Bird’s Isle for many years. It has been some time since we’ve last heard from the popular Belizean boxer since he retired from the sport and he now sells paletas around the city. Now, the boxing champ’s glory days are behind him but he needs your help because he’s without a home. On Friday night a fire gutted his ten-by-sixteen-wooden house in the city; he lost everything. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Fifty-nine year old Carlton Bowers is without a house after fire destroyed his home on Red Bell Streetin Belize City. Bowers left home after eight on Friday night to buy food, but shortly after he was informed that his house was on fire.

 

Carlton Bowers

Carlton Bowers, Fire Victim

“I deh dah the Gaucho shop and she come and say bwai yuh house deh on fire.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When was this?”

 

Carlton Bowers

“That was Friday night. I left from deh and when I come round yah I meet the fireman and police and fire done out and everything and my house burn down.”

 

Bowers lived alone in the one bedroom wooden house on Red Bell Street off Western Avenue for about fifteen years. . Bowers says he would normally use a lamp or a candle because the house didn’t have any electricity. But that night he says he doesn’t recall lighting a candle. He lost everything.

 

Carlton Bowers

“But as far as I could remember I nuh left on no candle or nothing. I mi did come home earlier and tek wah lee bath but it mi still clear yuh nuh. I neva bun nothing like candle fi say well maybe dah  that mussie mi left deh and yuh know. Dah when I come back I meet it burn down.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Suh yuh lost everything?”

 

Carlton Bowers

“Yeah I lost everything. I mi got two chair, mi bed, mi hammer, mi saw and different thing; all ah that gone right.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And all yuh clothes?”

 

Carlton Bowers

“And all mi clothes.”

 

The Fire service was called out to the scene just before nine-thirty. There wasn’t much that the Fire Service was able to do, the wooden home and its contents valued around four thousand dollars, had already burnt to the ground. They say the fire was caused by a candle.

 

Benisford Matura

Benisford Matura, Operations Officer, National Fire Service

“About 9:20 we got the call for a house fire. Apparently, Mister Bowers didn’t out the candle he used as a source of light. If he out it, he didn’t out it properly and the candle eventually caught the house on fire.”

 

Reporter

“And that is definitive?”

 

Benisford Matura

“Yes, that is definitive.”

 

Reporter

“In terms of the value?”

 

Benisford Matura

“He had a total value of about four thousand dollars’ worth between the house and the content.”

 

Reporter

“And by the time the Fire Service arrived there wasn’t anything you could do?”

 

Benisford Matura

“Yes. It was already gutted and the flames from this house eventually caught a house that was behind it; a house that was under construction. So, it partially burnt the other house that was about five to six feet away from it.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

Bowers says he would like to rebuild his home before Christmas. While he is staying with a relative right now, Bowers says he needs your help to do so. If you’d like to give the Belize City resident some assistance, you can reach him at 653-1529.

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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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