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Jan 22, 2019

National Fire Service: “Cause of Fire on East Collet Canal is Electrical”

On Monday we reported on the fire that destroyed one small wooden home in the Conch Shell Bay area. A mother and her daughter were living at the house up to the time of the fire – but they’ve been left without a roof over their head since eight on Sunday night. As you heard in our report, the mother Sharon Bennett claimed it was her candle that caused the blaze but today Fire Officials say that the cause resulted from an illegal electrical drop. Today, Station Officer of the Belize National Fire Service Orin Smith explained and cautioned to the public to refrain the dangerous practice of illegal connections.

 

Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service

“On arrival on the scene, we found the twelve by thirteen wooden structure with zinc roofing fully engulfed in flames. Another structure, a ten by ten situated adjacent to it, with its exposed face on fire. Following a brief size up, the department went into operations and extinguished the flames. As a result of that fire, the twelve by thirteen structure was destroyed. Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was the result of an electrical fault. The structure, I understand, was receiving an electrical drop that might have resulted in that fire. Often what happen when they receive an electrical feed is that there is no grounding in place. There is no breaker that can prevent or quickly knock off the electrical power to prevent such an occurrence. So, any power surge you have is feed directly into the appliance that is plugged into that feed. Often the feed would overload, even circuit breakers for the structure that is doing the feed. What I have often observed is that the wiring used on these feeds is never of the appropriate grade. So, it is never really done in a safe manner. And sadly, it is the poorer class that suffers the loss of their homes. I would appeal to the public if they can discontinue that practice. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before it does end tragically.”

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