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Mar 31, 2003

Hopkins hotel burns down; 1 million in damages

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Gusty winds and a wild fire proved disastrous for one Hopkins hotel on Sunday morning. Reports are that embers from a nearby brush fire ignited the thatch roof of the main building at Jaguar Reef Lodge and within minutes had spread to several other buildings. Hotel staff, guests, and volunteers, tried to bring the flames under control, but in less than two hours, the Lodge’s office, gift shop, dining room, bar and kitchen, as well as two beach front cabanas, were completely gutted and upper portion of a building overlooking the pool had been destroyed. According to Reservations Manager Shanda McDougal-Lord, there were more than forty guests at Jaguar Reef on Sunday. No one was injured, but a number of the visitors lost personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents. Jaguar Reef Lodge was established in 1995 and employs approximately forty people, mostly residents of Hopkins. News 5 understands there are plans to commence reconstruction immediately as the property was insured. Total damages to the establishment are estimated at approximately one million Belize dollars.

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