Fire Guts Family House in Belize City Again
The house belonging to the Scott family of Prince Street, Belize City was struck by fire this morning. Six family members occupied the upper flat of the two-storey wooden building where the fire broke. Arliee Scott, who lives on the ground floor cried out for help and the fire department soon arrived on the scene and was able to contain the blaze from spreading to rest of the building. Aside from the trauma of living through another fire, the Scotts lost their belongings. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Investigations continue by officials of the National Fire Service in the cause of an early morning fire in downtown Belize City. Around seven a.m., a fire broke on Prince Street and gutted the upper flat of a wooden building. The smoke and blaze could be seen from a distance away as Arilee Scott screamed for help. She and her grandson were inside the house at the time of the inferno.
Arilee Scott, Homeowner
“It was only me and my four-year-old grandson and I was preparing to go to work and he went upstairs and he come back down running, saying that the upstairs room was on fire. And I went up to try and see what it was that he was talking about. And all I coulda mi do dah run down back and ask my neighbors, who were hollering for me, to please come and help and they came. Someone called the fire department and they try assist me as much as they possibly could before the fire get any worse.”
Firefighters arrived on scene shortly after, got into operation and extinguished the blaze before the fire spread to the rest of the building. The three-bedroom upper flat of the wooden structure, which was occupied by Scott’s three sons and three grandchildren—ages four, six and eight—was completely destroyed. Except for Scott and her youngest grandchild, all other occupants were at school and at work. She says she is thankful that no one was hurt.
“The upper flat was for my son; they lose everything, every, everything. They noh save nothing, nothing at all. With me downstairs, I got water damage…everything under water. But apart from that dah only that; I woulda say the water damage.”
“So in terms of the stuff that your sons lost, I believe it would be personal belongings as well as furniture and appliances?”
“Mmhmm because I got a son weh love DJ music; he lost his equalizer, amplifier speaker; ih radio, everything gone ina that. My next son…well dehn only mi have dehn TV and soh ina fi dehn room and all of that gone. And all the children shoes and everything, school uniform, everything gone so they lose a lot. What I have, my TV and things….I lost my radio and things like that. But like I said that dah material stuff. Thank God for life. That’s all I could say: thank God for life.”
The fire has Scott and her family discouraged because there was ongoing work to rebuild her kitchen that was destroyed in the most recent Hurricane Earl in August of last year. She believes that it may have been an electrical fire.
“I ask the child, all the time, I di ask him right now what happen. He just tell me how he gone upstairs and put on the TV and then he see the mattress on fire. But how it start, I noh understand that either. I noh know if the TV connection or something cause it because honestly when I gone up, I only hear pop, pop, pop…well the fire mi done deh on which way anyways. But I noh know because he say all he did was watch TV.”
The frightening ordeal was terrible case of déjà vu for Scott, because ten years ago, she lost all her belongings in a fire back in July of 2007.
“When they mi come build my house I was over there and the fire started upstairs so the same thing…I had to run out, you know.”
“This was how many years ago?”
“From 2007, because it was after my father died. It was 2007, July.”
“And you lost everything as well in that fire?”
“Yup. I cried; my neighbors see my cry for the first time. I cried, I screamed, I just get frantic…I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t take it.”
“Memories of that other…”
“Yeah, lot of memories cause that wasn’t nice. When that fire there, I left my grandson ina di house weh I mi just frighten. And this morning, I nearly do the same thing. But thank God for the person too who come and rescue my grandson out of the house. I noh know dah who cause I was so confused, I neva see dah who. So I just want thank that person fi come remove mi grandson from the house this morning.”
Duane Moody for News Five.
If anyone would like to assist the family, they can contact Scott at 668-7288 and 627-2145.