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Dec 23, 2009

Pastor’s home goes up in smoke

Story PictureBefore the fire in Belize City on Pelican Street Extension, in Burrell Boom, another house went up in flames. Like in the Belize City fire, the origin of this blaze is unknown. The head of the family, Fabian Rivero is a pastor, and he and his family were in Belize City when their house went up in flames. Very little was saved from the rubble as Duane Moody found out.

Duane Moody, Reporting
It was an emotional moment when the grandchildren of seventy-five year old Fabian Rivero shuffled through the charred rubble and salvaged a casserole dish, teacups, pans knifes and a few other items. Little was saved after the fire spread through a furnished two bedroom bungalow house on the Burrell Boom Road.

Reverend Fabian Rivero, Fire Victim
“When she rung about quarter to eight, I told my wife that the house was on fire. So my wife told me why don’t you ring the Fire Department and let them send the truck. But by the time we get ready and to go down, the thing was half an hour to get there. When we get there the whole house was in flames. It looks like when this lady ring, the house was already. I no know why ih neva ring sooner.”

Tanya Jimenez, Daughter of Fire victim
“The fire people, they came last night, and this burglar bar door, they didn’t even had to ask for a key to open it.”

Duane Moody
“So that means it was left open.”

Tanya Jimenez
“It was left open. There is a dead-bolt here and that wasn’t locked. So we don’t know what happened.”

According to daughter, Tanya Jimenez, the house was left in the care of a neighbor and the family is now looking for answers.

Tanya Jimenez
“We have questions that we need to have answered especially by the neighbors over on that side because they were the ones who my mother entrusted the keys to for this house even though my sister Dalia was upset because she had given the keys over to these people. Reina convinced my momt o give them back the keys so that her little brother can stay in the house and look after the house and also to attend the yard. They were the only ones that had the keys.”

Duane Moody
“Do you feel that it was set?”

Tanya Jimenez
“Well I don’t know. They probably left something inside the house lit probably caught fire to the carpet or something and that’s probably how the fire started. I don’t know, I can’t say.”

Rev. Fabian Rivero
“My wife ask her where is the fellow that is watching the house because she said she had her little brother watching the house. She said he’s not there, two weeks ih lef.”

Fire officials say the blaze started inside the house.

Kenneth Mortis, Training Officer, Fire Department
“We found mainly hot spots, which we extinguished, after which we did our investigation as per normal. One of the neighbours across the street, Ms. Reina Garcia, she was the caretaker. We spoke to Miss Garcia who told yes that she did not make a check on the house for like two weeks now prior to the fire. One of the most interesting observations we found out was that the main door, the burglar bar door to the building did not have on padlocks. That would have normally been there. The Fire Department arrived and we initially made entry into the building without forced entry because it was opened and that was a great concern to the owner. Mr. Rivero stated that probably two times earlier this year there were break-ins into his building and minor household items were stolen.”

According to Rivero, the house which took him two and a half years to build was not insured. Duane Moody, reporting for News Five..

Rivero is the pastor for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is currently staying with relatives in Belize City.

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