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Jul 2, 2012

Woman saves her 2 infants from burning home; where were the firefighters?

Acts of valor are rare but when regular people commit to tremendous acts and put their bodies in the way of harm, they should be commended for it. This past weekend a fire gutted an uninsured building valued at forty five thousand dollars. While the building was consumed by a powerful inferno, a mother of two infants had a choice to make: wait for the Fire Service to arrive, or run into the flames, hoping to find her children alive and rush them outside to safety. The woman was burned all over her upper body and News Five’s Delahnie Bain travelled to Orange Walk Town and spoke to mother of two about her act of valor.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

An Orange Walk family has been left homeless after a fire on Saturday night destroyed their home and all their belongings. The building was owned by seventy-three year old Hallet August, but was occupied by twenty-one year old Hubert August, his common-law-wife, twenty-one year old Indira Peters and their two children; one year old Kimora and three year  old Karris. When they were alerted about the fire, Peters who was downstairs ran into the burning building to save her daughters.

 

Indira Peters, Fire Victim

“Saturday dah mi my birthday and we deh right front ah di yard yah front ah dis gate thing yah di play fiche and thing, I noh expect no fire or anything. Di neighbor from cross deh holla tell we fire deh eena di back room. So right away I sprint up di steps dehn and everybody di look fi me, noh know weh I deh cause I desperately want my baby cause I rememba she eena dah room weh I put ah fi sleep. I mi send she [Karris] eena di hall fi go watch cartoons because I noh want she upstairs by ihself. So I send she too. So when I sprint up deh, I noh even si my baby dehn. I just di pull dis door fi si if dehn deh een deh because my braw-lee come behind me and he seh he noh si di baby. Den he seh oh see Kyris here and den he grab ah. So when he grab ah I tell ah well oh my god my baby eena dis room and dah den di flame hit me, I turn round and get she and I run out.”

 

Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Sub-Station Officer, Orange Walk Fire Station

“In the excitement, the mother didn’t realize that the kids had already exited the bedroom and were in the living room. During the process she made an attempt to open the room door and that was when she was met by a blaze of fire. She exited the building, but not before she received burns to portions of her back, minors to her face, upper body and the right arm. The kids didn’t receive any fire damage.”

 

Kenneth Mortis, the Sub-station Officer at the Orange Walk Fire Station, says they responded as soon as they received the report.  But according to Peters, neighbors were allegedly calling for an hour before the firefighters showed up.

 

Kenneth Mortis

“Orange Walk Fire Department received a call—actually we received two calls, the first call was from the Police Department and the second call came in shortly after from a concerned neighbor. The call was about a fire that was in fire on Sittee Street, Orange Walk Town. We responded with two trucks and a total of seven personnel. On arrival, we found the remains of what was a two-storey structure. We learned that the upper portion was of wood and the lower of cement. We got into operations to extinguish this fire.”

 

Indira Peters

“By di time we reach pan di road, di thing dehn start explode, di flames start escape out ah room and thing. Before that though, before I gone eena dah house gone get my babies dem, everybody eena dis neighborhood di call fi di fire department and dehn noh even show up none at all. So we start call di police and di police seh dehn done forward di information because lot ah people di call. So we di call back di department, dehn noh di ansa, we call back police and dehn tell we dat dehn noh have time fi we because dehn gwein buy burritos.  Everybody di call, call, call fi mek dehn come long time and dehn tek wah hour den holla bout di police dehn hold up di information deh fi wah whole half an hour. But even if di police dehn hold up it, we call dehn first. We give dehn di information and dehn seh yes, dehn di come.”

 

To make matters worse, the fire truck reportedly ran out of water several times before the flames were extinguished.

 

Indira Peters

“Dehn start spray and less dan two, three minutes di hose gone flat, dehn run gone dah riverside gone full up. Dehn long fi out dis fire and when dehn come back, thing back eena flame and dehn di spray. Dehn wata done again, dehn run back again; mussy bout four or five trips dehn tek fi out just dis lee house and only one room mi had di fire, one room. Ih mi wah out it if dehn tank mi full up but dehn just careless and slack; dah department, I noh know, dehn need fi strict up deh.”

 

While Peters managed to save her children, nothing else could be salvaged from the inferno.

 

Indira Peters

Indira Peters

“As you could see, dah lone ashes deh bout yah. Not even di cement from downstairs good, ih crack up. Everything gone, everything, everything. From my documents, my baby things dem, I just buy things fi mek she start pre-school September; everything gone, everything. My equipment cause I dah wah beautician—I do nails, I do hair, I do manicure and pedicure and what’s not—all my things dem up stairs. I noh even got clothes nor footwear. Thanks to my sister and my neighbors weh help me wid wah lee clothes, my pikney dehn and thing.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“So basically, your family is homeless now?”

 

Indira Peters

“Homeless. I deh ova yah during di day fi try si if somebody could help or assist. When I start feel pain and I thing I go ova deh go try beg wah lee lodging if I have to get breeze and thing cause dehn have fan and what’s not ova deh. I just di beg lodging dah night fi sleep right now, I noh have nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, and I would ah wish somebody would ah help us with at least wah mattress and wah fan right now fi my injuries because I can’t deh like dis eena heat because my wounds dehn neva wah get betta. Downstairs I had like the same amount ah things weh mi upstairs and at least the downstairs I mi di try save; at least that because I mi wah have bed, I mi wah have clothes, I mi wah have mi sofa, I mi wah have something fi you know start off pan.”

 

Fire officials have determined that the blaze was cause by an electrical fault.

 

Kenneth Mortis

“We went on to further investigate the cause of the fire and we learnt that the building was experiencing electrical malfunction. This was reportedly to be as a result of the previous power surges that we, here in Orange Walk have been experiencing in the past two weeks. It’s an unfortunate event because, sometimes this week, the said house was to be re-wired, but before that could have been done the inferno took over and the families are now left homeless.”

 

The lower flat of the house was occupied by a sixteen year old student, Henry Montero, who lost seven thousand dollars in personal belongings. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

 

The August/Peters family estimates their loss at twenty thousand dollars. Anyone than can assist Peters and her family, can contact her mother at 625-3241.

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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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8 Responses for “Woman saves her 2 infants from burning home; where were the firefighters?”

  1. Storm says:

    Few things are as fearless as a mother protecting her children. Cheers for her, and prayers that she recovers well and somehow the family can recover financially. But compared to the lives of the children, the loss of everything else is unimportant. Well done, Mother.

  2. Gary says:

    yeah!!!!I have to give it to the mother. Very great job!!!!!!!!yes u have lost ur material possesions, but u have saved the lives of your two kids which could have never been replaced unblike all that was burnt!!!!!!!!!!STAY STRONG!!!!!

  3. now i see says:

    Thank God she saved her kids. Its amasing the love of a mother. We many times take our mothers for granted. Mothers real mothers will wrestle the devil for their kids if they have to. Count on my donation.

  4. Islander says:

    Glad they are all safe! Wondering what caused the fire though.

  5. R.T. in H-Town says:

    This is very heroic story. We could have easily read about this in sad way. but always remember, if you have young kids, know where they are at all times. prevention better than cure.

  6. RadicalBelizean says:

    Is there a bank account where people can donate directly to this selfless woman. Now that is what I call a woman, a mother. This really touching., please put a bank account detail on here where we can make donations.

  7. MACAL RIVERA says:

    WHAT A MOTHER! DESERVE THE BEST AFTER GOING THROUGH ALL THAT STRESS AND TRAUMA.
    GOD BLESS HER AND HER CHILDREN

  8. Kianna Martinez says:

    I thank God my cousin Indira and her kids is okay. I’m glad she has family down there helping her. i plan to help her as soon as I go back to Belize. She will get back on her feet soon.

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