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Feb 6, 2017

Fire Wipes Out House on Ambergris Caye

A fire completely destroyed a family home in San Pedro over the weekend. A father and his two sons were not on the island when the blaze claimed their home and all their possessions. The owner of the house hasn’t ascertained the value of the property lost, but nothing was insured. Today, we met the forty-six year old and his two boys—ages four and six—trying to salvage what is left from the fire in order to get a roof over their heads. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was in San Pedro today and spoke with the owner Calvin Young:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Calvin Young and his two little sons are busy picking up the pieces. A fire wiped out the single dad’s home on Sunday afternoon around twelve-forty five in the San Juan Area in San Pedro Town. Young wasn’t home at when the fire destroyed his property – he was alerted about the fire through this video he saw on Facebook.


Calvin Young

Calvin Young, Owner

“I came back to this when I came back, yuh know. I haven’t seen the fire chief yet because they nuh come back as yet. I need fi try and prepare a place for my sons and that is why I the kinda try and salvage right now and put back together yuh know.”


Andrea Polanco

“How did you find out about it?”


Calvin Young, Owner

“Emm somebody tell me check pahn facebook because somebody posted a video of my house on fire and so that is how I like basically see it. Nobody saw nothing. My neighbours there – like I say, I live good with my neighbours and thing. He was there and he said that by the time he saw it, my whole house was already under fire, suh it nuh mek sense to me. He live just right deh and by the time he hear something funny, the house was already under fire and that is when he came out and do the video and that is when he saw the fire.”


The wooden structure of four bedrooms, a living room and bathroom – is Young’s investment of over ten years. He has been working on this housefor a while – and moved in here not too long ago so as to give his two young boys a safe roof over their heads. And in recent months, it was his hope that he would be able to rent rooms to make an additional income, but all that is gone now.


Calvin Young, Owner

“Ah mien…hmmm. This is ten years’ worth of time and effort and all my stuff fi my kids because I dah ma and pa.  It was like fifty-five feet long and twenty-two feet wide, basically.”


Andrea Polanco

“Were you renting out any space; or were you planning to?”


Calvin Young, Owner

“Yes. That was basically was the idea so that I could take care of my kids and send them to school in a less stressful and decent manner.”


Up to this afternoon, San Pedro fire officials say they haven’t tied down the exact cause of the fire, although it is suspected be electrical. But the home-owner believes otherwise – he says arson seems to be the cause. Up to the time of the fire, Young was using extension cords to get electricity to his home, although he maintains cords nor appliances were plugged in or in use at the time of the fire.


Calvin Young, Owner

“Well, basically, now the way how the house set up, I nuh have any electrical appliances inna the house. Yuh see this extension weh run from ova deh? This is basically how I got – because then I nuh have TV. I nuh raise my sons with Television. I rather interact with my two sons before go and mek deh sit down in front of a TV. So, I nuh have nothing fi say cause a fire because the extension deh yah weh connect from here to a next extension to a deal that have six outlet.  If I hold grudge, I will become the same person who do this. And this is a hate crime, strictly.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, you think somebody set it on fire?”


Calvin Young, Owner

“Yes, man. I know that. I know that.”


Andrea Polanco

“Why would you think that?”


Calvin Young, Owner

“Just how my house was set up. I only have one outlet in my house that has six plugs. Nothing was plugged in when I left my home. I made sure of that.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


Young says if you would like to assist him, he lives behind the police station in San Juan Area where you can drop off your donations or you can reach him at 604-1003 or 664-1284.

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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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