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Dec 30, 2002

Separate fires in Bz. City leave 7 homeless

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Fire officials were busy this weekend after blazes in Belize City damaged three houses and left seven people homeless. The first fire started around one Friday morning at an abandoned building at number fifty Tigris Street. Flames quickly gutted the building and the wind carried sparks to a nearby house. The occupants of that house, owner Charles Moore and his wife, and his downstairs tenant, Police Constable Pamela Rodriguez, were all at home but managed to escape unhurt. Authorities speculate that a group of drug users, who use the abandoned building as their base, started the fire. Charles Moore estimates the damage done to his house at well over fifty thousand dollars. It was not insured.

Around eleven that same morning, fire-fighters were called out again, this time to a home on Doris Brooks Street where they found a two-storey building engulfed in flames. After the fire was extinguished, officials found that most of the damage was confined to the interior of the building. The two families living in the house, identified as Esme Nicholas, her daughter and granddaughter, and in the lower flat: B.D.F. Sergeant, Carol Tillett and her family, have since moved in with friends. Authorities tell News 5 initial investigations reveal that a lit candle left unattended in an upstairs room was the cause of the fire. The home was insured.

Meanwhile, a smaller fire at 116B East Collet Canal at around one o’clock on Sunday afternoon has left its owner, Stanford Young, hospitalized with burns to his hands and face. Young, who was across the street when he noticed that his home was on fire, ran inside in an attempt to put it out and was injured in the process. Fire-fighters suspect that the blaze originated in one corner of the house where a matchstick, not properly put out, had been discarded. Property damage estimates are in the neighbourhood of a thousand dollars.

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