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Sep 18, 2017

Fire Wipes Out Family on Sunflower Street

A fire in the city has left a family of four on Sunflower Street homeless. On Saturday night, two members of the family were at home when a fire erupted on the verandah of their thirty-five by twenty-five wooden home. The fire spread quickly and the family lost everything. The family believes that someone intentionally set their home on fire but they don’t know why. Right now they have to stay with neighbours until they can rebuild. News Five spoke with the owner of the house. Here’s what they told Andrea Polanco about the blaze.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

This is what’s left of the Gordon’s family home on Sunflower Street in Belize City. The four member family has lived here for about twenty-five years but all their investment went up in flames when a fire tore through the family home shortly before midnight on Saturday. Everything, valued at around eighty five thousand dollars, was completely destroyed – owner Robert Gordon and his wife were at home at the time of the fire; they narrowly escaped through this window.

 

Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon, Home Destroyed by Fire

“We heard shouting outside and then she went and open the front door and a big ball of fire rushed in and at that moment we just decide to make it outside. So, that happened like less than five minutes when I went inside. So, we made it out through the back window and then we went outside and so on.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, from where it started is the step you are saying?”

 

Robert Gordon

“From the steps and at that time the breeze was blowing heavily and the breeze pushed the fire in the house and so light sofas and everything. Because in that house I have a lot of things; fridge, sofa, TV, microwave, all type of things.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Full furnished?”

 

Robert Gordon

“Fully furnished and everything gone.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you have an estimated value of all the things you have lost?”

 

Robert Gordon

“Yes. The estimation – the content of the house and the house, I think everything would be at least eighty five thousand dollars. It was a three bedroom house with everything in it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And I take it your property wasn’t insured?”

 

Robert Gordon

“No. It wasn’t insured.”

 

According to owner Robert Gordon the fire spread quickly through the three bedroom house. The family lost everything within a matter of minutes – they believe it was set on firebut they have no idea by whom or why.

 

Robert Gordon

“To my estimation, the length of time that I went in and discovered the fire, to me, it seemed like gasoline. It seemed like someone threw some gasoline on the steps and light it because common sense the immediate eruption of the fire, it has to be a substance that erupt the fire that quickly from the time I went off the verandah to the inside – so it have to be.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Okay. So, it appears to be arson. Now, Mister Gordon, why would someone want to burn out you and your family?”

 

Robert Gordon

“Well, that is what I want to ask too. I mean, I have no enemies or all that. I surprised myself as to why that happened. Me and the neighbours and everybody around here live good. So, I don’t know.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And you haven’t been threatened – or did you ever receive any threat before?”

 

Robert Gordon

“No. I never received any threat, nothing like that.”

 

While the family believes it was arson – the Fire Department says the exact cause has not been determined.

 

Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the fire originated on the exterior of the structure on a verandah. The cause of the fire is still not determined as yet.”

 

Reporter

“Was this an incendiary fire? We know sometimes people throw things on verandahs?”

 

Orin Smith

“That is a good possibility that is the result on this one.”

 

Reporter

“We understand the owner believes it was arson?”

 

Orin Smith

“He expressed that to us as well. So far that is what the information we have collected is pointing to.”

 

Reporter

“Is there any evidence of an accelerant used?”

 

Orin Smith, National Fire Service

“None was collected.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, have you ruled out electrical and other possibilities?”

 

Orin Smith

“There were no electrical appliance in the area of origin; none.”

 

Gordon’s vehicle which was parked beside the house was also damaged by the fire. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

The Gordon family needs your help to rebuild. They have not been able to salvage anything from the fire and only escaped with the clothes on their backs. If you’d like to assist them, you are asked to call 661-9053.

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