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Dec 21, 2018

Fire Department Says Cleghorn Street Blaze was Deliberately Set

Orin Smith

Station Manager Orin Smith provided details of the firefighting effort to extinguish the blaze, however, he was not able to confirm the suggestion that the tenant who started the fire was attempting to take his own life in the process.


Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service

“Earlier today, Friday, December 21st, 2018, at 9:27 a.m., the National Fire Service received and responded to a report from the police of a structural fire at 45 Cleghorn Street in Belize City.  On arrival on scene, thick grey smoke and flames were seen coming from the upper flat of a two-storey wooden structure with zinc roofing.  As a result of that fire, the upper flat of that structure was extensively damaged.  The lower flat received water damage as a result of fire extinguishment activities.  The fire, preliminary investigation revealed, occurred or originated on the southwest of the structure in a room.  The fire is designated as incendiary.”



“Meaning that somebody, someone intentionally set it?”


Orin Smith

“Meaning it was lit by someone, in and where they knew fully well that that fire should not have been lit.”



“We’re told that it may have started from the mattress in the room.  Is that where it appears from your investigations as well sir?”


Orin Smith

“The investigators did not really give me that specific detail, no.  So I can’t say for sure.”



“In speaking with the residents or the occupants of that property, what have you gathered preliminarily?”


Orin Smith

“Information that was being echoed on the ground while firefighting activities revealed that the individual, an individual was in the room at the time of the fire.  One tenant who also occupied the structure said that after being alerted of the fire, he went up to the structure to get into the room to attempt to extinguish that fire.  The individual within the room refused to give him access.  After he had gained access, the individual ran out from the room.  There are other rumors as to whether the individual was trying to attempt to take his own life, however, I cannot confirm on those.”


The value of the property has not been determined.

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