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Mar 1, 2018

Nine homeless after flash fire

A fire in Belize City has left a family of nine without a roof over their heads. The homeowner and her baby were asleep when the fire broke out inside an unoccupied bedroom.  The pair narrowly escaped the inferno that completely destroyed their home. Single-mother Monique Dennison says that a man was spotted in her yard when the fire started; leading her to believe that it is a case of arson. But fire officials are not as quick to say what caused the fire because they are still investigating the blaze. Andrea Polanco has more.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Around eight-thirty on Wednesday night, a fire broke out inside a home on Curassow Street in Belize City. In a matter of minutes, big flames engulfed the plycem house anddestroyed everything inside by thetime firefighters arrive on the scene. Nine persons lived inside this two-bedroom home. Monique Dennison and her baby were sleeping inside when the fire started. Luckily, neighbours sounded the alarm and she narrowly escaped with her child.

 

Monique Dennison, Fire Victim

Monique Dennison

“Me and my one-year-old baby mi di sleep.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“At what point did you become aware that your house was on fire?”

 

Monique Dennison

“Well, because somebody alerted and I hear somebody holler “fire! House di bun”. By the time I get up outta my bed and run outside through the door to come see weh the fire deh, by the time I come out I just see the flame inna the back room. So, all I was able to do was run inside and pick up my baby and come outside back.”

 

Dennison wasn’t able to save anything from her home. She lived here with her three children and some of her siblings. She says that the house didn’t have electricity and that there were no other sources of fire inside the house at the time of the blaze. She believes someone intentionally set her house on fire to target her brothers.

 

Monique Dennison

“Well, mammy, fi be real right, my house nuh even have electricity. We nuh even have candle or nothing. Only me one mi di deh, so no candle mi deh on in the house.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you believe that someone set your house on fire?”

 

Monique Dennison

“Yes, ma’m. Somebody. I nuh wah say gang related or something like that. But my neighbours see somebody light something and throw it through the back of the backroom window where my little brothers sleep. But they don’t know who threw it because when the person did they run.”

Andrea Polanco

“Now, Ms Dennison, do you know why somebody would do this – torch your house?”

 

Monique Dennison

“Well, miss, I don’t really know because I don’t have problems with anybody, but maybe my brothers.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, anybody threatened your brothers recently?”

 

Monique Dennison

“Well, I guess like couple of weeks ago, deh shot up mi house. And my bredda he nuh even live here. It’s just me and my kids and my lee bredda dem live dah dis house.”

 

But fire officials say that they need to conduct some tests to determine what exactly caused this fire – they have not ruled out arson.

 

Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“I have also encountered certain things that are yet to be tested and draw a final hypothesis from.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is there anything you’ve ruled out – that probably didn’t cause the fire?”

 

Orin Smith

“Electricity has definitely been ruled out. Unattended stove has definitely been ruled out. I have found no evidence of the use of candles. There was one lantern in the house, which was not in the location where the fire originated. So, all those things have been ruled out. I can’t rule out arson as yet nor can I rule out the possibility of an accidental fire involving children. However, as I said before, we are still testing the hypothesis that we’ve had and we will draw a final hypothesis after that test.”

 

An emotional Dennison says that she feels lucky to have escaped the blaze:

Monique Dennison

“Hmmm, Miss, it is shocking. It really hurt. Fi me it really hurts. I never expected that my house bun down nor fi somebody wah kill one ah my bredda deh because I lose lotta loved ones, close people. It really hurts.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you guys were lucky to have escaped that fire last night?”

Monique Dennison

“Yes, miss, lucky, very lucky. Because, miss, just the other day I hear on the news that a young baby perished in the fire and I have a young son, too, who was in this house when it was burning. So, whosoever did that, they really bad-minded. Deh bad minded bad.”

 

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

 

Dennison says that she and her family are most in need of a roof over their head, as well as clothing. If you would like to assist the family, you can contact them at 630-2725 or 626-0551.

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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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