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Jun 27, 2003

Unattended curling iron burns down house

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A Belize City family is without their home tonight as a simple act of carelessness appears to have started a fire. Patrick Jones was on the scene this afternoon.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

The Griffith residence on Bachelor Avenue erupted in flames around midday today. By the time fire officials extinguished the fire, the upstairs of the two-storey dwelling was completely gutted.

Ted Smith, Assistant Fire Chief

“Not much fire damage was done downstairs, apart from what burned through the floor, but heavy water damage is done to the downstairs.”

Family members, including a sixteen-year-old girl overcome by smoke, were too shaken up to talk with News 5, but we understand that at least six people occupied the building. No one is believed to have been inside the building when the fire started.

As soon as the flames were put out, investigators from the Fire Department started to sift through the debris.

Ted Smith

“The men will be trying to establish an area of origin. They will be analysing direction of the fire spread, charred marks, analysing the debris, see if they could come up to an area of origin. When that area is established then we will focus on establishing an ignition source.”

Patrick Jones, for News 5.

Late this afternoon investigators informed News 5 that they believe the fire started in the upstairs back bedroom and was caused by an electric curling iron that was left unattended on the bed. Family members tell News 5 that the house was insured.

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