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Apr 25, 2003

House collapses; family shaken but safe

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For eight years it was theirs to call home; then in an instant, it was all gone. A Belize City family is tonight out in the street after their home collapsed under the weight of what appears to be a combination of time and neglect. Patrick Jones has their story.

Marcia Robinson, Occupied Fallen House

“We never really know that the house mi wah come down so quick, you know?”

Patrick Jones

Marcia Robinson and her family are tonight looking to start over as the roof over their head came crashing to the ground on Thursday afternoon. Edison Robinson was asleep in one of the rooms when he was jolted by the fall.

Edison Robinson, Brother-in-Law

“When I wake up, I heard my brother shouting out for his son and then he called out my name too. I answered him I asked him if he was okay too, he said yes. So I started to move around to try and see what was going on inside.”

Marcia Robinson

“All ah dem mi in the house the sit down and deh just hear wah lee crack and the house just drop. And my son mi di wash up and mi baby mi deh pan the floor and he mi pan the chair and he just try cover the baby fu mek thing noh drop pan ah, and the house just come down flat.”

While no one inside the home was seriously injured, Mrs. Robinson says the priority now is to find somewhere to live.

Marcia Robinson

“Well I noh have no way fu stay right now. Dah that I di ask if somebody, if you could please, if Godfrey Smith, if you could please find wah home fu me mek a could stay, because ah have to find some way fu stay tonight. Last night one a mi auntie tell me ah could stay deh last night, but I have to find someway to stay.”

The Robinsons say that the condition of the house has been a concern for the family for some time, but they believed they still had time to make some improvements.

Marcia Robinson

“I know I see it mi the get rotten and thing, but I neva expect it mi wah drop, ’cause it gat some new posts dah bottom.”

Patrick Jones

“So you did some work to try to keep it up?”

Marcia Robinson

“Yes. We put up some new posts and brace fuh mek it hold up, but that noh work.”

Edison Robinson

“From I reached here yesterday morning I told my brother that this house was going to fall one of these days. I couldn’t realize and believe that it would happen so fast.”

Patrick Jones for News 5.

Neighbours have come to Robinson’s rescue and have offered them temporary storage facilities for what is left of their belongings. As for the house itself, this morning the owner sent a crew of workmen to dismantle the building.

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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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