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Aug 8, 2018

Area Rep Says G.O.B. and Residents Culpable

Manuel Heredia Jr.

But there is widespread criticism that these measures to improve the fire response on the island are only just now being put in place when Saturday’s devastating inferno was the third in four years on the island. Back in 2014, sixteen families were displaced during a fire, and then in 2016 eighty-eight persons were left homeless after a fire on Pescador Drive. Fast track to 2018, and there are another eighty-seven persons in a similar situation, following an early morning blaze in the heart of the town. This does not take into account the many other structures that have been gutted over that same period and the multiple fatalities in the June 2018 fire in the Escalante subdivision of the island. While accepting some responsibility, Minister Heredia also put the blame on residents.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Rep., Belize Rural South

“I will agree that probably more should have been done from before, but it is not late. But I must admit that there might be negligence on several sectors of the community that affects this problem. But nonetheless, I believe like I said, you always learn from mistakes and this is one time that I believe that you will see quick action from local authorities from government and from the community itself.  San Pedro is a fast growing community; we all know that it is one of the most fast developing in the whole country of Belize. We have about twenty-seven thousand residents now; it is growing at a pace that probably no other part of Belize is growing and there are challenges. But again many times not because you might regard it as the poorer areas or so, but there is negligence sometimes on the part of the residents themselves. They might leave their children playing over there with matches or other things like that. And that also, I believe we need to educate parents that they have to be more careful with their homes and with their kids and with everything that is around that can cause these fires to happen.”

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