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Dec 8, 2017

Senior Citizen Loses Home to Fire for Second Time

A sixty-one-year-old Belize City woman managed to get out of her burning house on Allenby Street at about midday today. A fire spread quickly and could not be contained destroying all the belongings of Thelma Ariolla. The home owner sustained a small injury, but was left pretty shaken up by the disaster and says it is second time her house has been destroyed by fire. With the Christmas not too far away, she is looking to move in with family members.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before midday today a fire broke inside a two-storey concrete and wooden house on Allenby Street in Belize City. Inside was the sixty-one-year-old homeowner, Thelma Ariolla, who narrowly escaped the inferno with only an injury to the nose. Police, firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after to render assistance. Laverne Loredo says that she was at work when she was notified of the disaster.


Laverne Loredo

Laverne Loredo, Cousin of Fire Victim

“I was at school having lunch when I got a call that my relatives house was on fire. I immediately left the food and came over to see what is the situation and when I got here, I observed that the whole back portion of the house was already engulfed in flames.  They had transferred her over to a neighbor’s house for safety measures so I went over there and then I saw her and she looked as natural due to the situation—worried, concerned. I noticed a small peel on the left side of her nose so we recommended that they take her to the hospital just to get her check out to make sure that everything is okay.”


Ariolla was taken to the nearest medical facility for a checkup by the EMTs from BERT and while Loredo says she will be okay; it is traumatic because this is the second time her house is being destroyed by fire.


Laverne Loredo

“Two years ago, she was in this same situation, but luckily the entire portion of the house didn’t get destroyed; it was just the interior part of it. Well this time around, I don’t know what happened, but the whole top, the whole back…everything. I don’t think they managed to save anything, but it is sad.”


The National Fire Service responded to a call around 12:03 p.m. and two trucks were dispatched to the area. At least a dozen firefighters got into quick action to extinguish the blaze. Both tanks were exhausted and the team then resorted to a nearby open water source to provide enough water to out the inferno.  But by then all had been lost.


Ted Smith

Ted Smith, Fire Chief

“On our arrival on the street, we found a two-storey concrete/wooden structure engulfed in flames. The fire was in the free burning phase and the open stage; the fire was already advance on our arrival. We immediately went into operation and tried to contain the fire before it spread to other structures and subsequently after, extinguished the fire.  The entire upper floor has been gutted and a portion of the lower back has also been gutted. Most of the upper floor has also collapsed and the front section as you can see looks dangerous more like it intend to collapse shortly. So it brings addition challenge on the fire ground when you have to combat fire like that and the fire was mostly at the lower flat at that time and well developed in the lower flat as well. So it brings that additional challenge; the commander has to be very careful so as not to hurt his people get hurt during firefight.”


An investigation has since been launched into the cause of the fire. Duane Moody for News Five.


Anyone who would like to assist the family can contact them at phone number 631-0497.

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