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Jul 17, 2012

2 houses destroyed; 1 man in critical condition after “explosive” domestic dispute

Twelve persons—eight adults and four minors—are homeless following a fire after eight on Monday night in the Placencia Peninsula. A Cayo resident, thirty-four year old Orson Emerson Twist is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with first and second degree burns to eighty percent of his body. After a domestic dispute, Twist allegedly set a butane gas tank on fire which exploded and gutted two wooden homes. Several police officers were also injured in the fire. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A domestic dispute in Placencia let to an explosion that destroyed two buildings. The blast has left thirty-four year old Orson Twist with various degrees of burns to his body and three police officers injured. According to Deputy Officer Commanding the Placencia Police, Sergeant Norman Benguche, the officers were called out following a report of domestic abuse.


Norman Benguche

Sgt. Norman Benguche, Deputy O.C., Placencia Police

“Police responded to a home, the home of Orson Emmerson Twist, thirty-four [year old] of Cayo District. Upon approaching the house, a loud blast was heard and as a result, the house was engulfed in flames. Several officers on the scene received minor burns to parts of their body; however, Mister Orson Twist received first and second degree burns to eighty percent of his body. Orson Twist was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital last night in a serious condition. He was further transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this morning also in a serious condition. We’re investigating the matter and all this shows that it was a domestic dispute.”


Julie Ireland

Julie Ireland, Common-law-wife

“I sit down and wait for ah. Ih come like ten minutes after and ih open the door and I gone in. When I gone in, he haul me from my hair and ih haul wah machete at me. We start struggle ina di room, I managed to take the machete from him because he was drunk. So I take the machete from him and I shub it underneath the bed. So we deh deh and he deh di choke me and choke me. And when I shub ahn down, I manage fi run; but I run dah di bathroom and he follow me with wah machete. That gas tank; he had me in deh with it. Ih throw the gas tank pan the bed and tell me watch weh I wah do right now. So I manage fi get weh and he one stay in deh.”


And so said, so done. Twist allegedly set fire to the butane gas tank. It exploded and gutted the two structures. This was after he allegedly assaulted Ireland, who says she has constantly been abused by Twist.


Julie Ireland

“Dah noh the first time and I put up with ahn because I mi married ahn. I try, I try until I can’t go no more. I guess that dah it.”


Twelve persons including four minors are homeless after the two wooden apartment structures located on Kubali Street in the peninsula were gutted by flames after eight on Monday night.


Oscar Cortez

Oscar Cortez, Fire Victim

“Police was talking to the guy that was downstairs, but I neva paid it too much attention and I gone upstairs. A couple of minutes after, police call me that the man downstairs wants to burn the place so I came down. So after two minutes after I came down, I hear the explosion downstairs and then the place started to get fire. I lost everything. The guy had a small gas tank in his room. He look like he opened the gas tank and then used a litter and blow up the place.”


Duane Moody

“You lost everything; you didn’t save anything at all?”


Daniel Lopez

Daniel Lopez, Fire Victim

“Nothing. Everything; my passport, everything.”


Duane Moody

“Was anything insured?”


Daniel Lopez

“See this is my room; everything inside my clothes, my shoes, my papers, passport—I’m from Mexico right—my work permit; everything.”


Ruth Roca

Ruth Roca, Fire Victim

“I lost everything; all my clothes. I noh take nothing just my clothes for sleep. I mi drop ah sleep last night and when I hear the noise I come out and when I see the fire I run. Just the clothes for sleep I take; nothing else.”


The families are asking for assistance to regain what they have lost.


Oscar Cortez

“If we can get the help from the community to help us because we lost everything—we noh even get the clothes so we lost everything. So right now we noh have nothing.”


Daniel Lopez

“Most urgent is you know the papers; my work permit my passports. For my baby; you know the clinic, the injections, everything and for my wife.”


Nothing was insured. Duane Moody for News Five.


The injured officers are Sergeant Shal, Corporal Salam and Police Constable Martinez. Investigations into the fire are ongoing. 

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2 Responses for “2 houses destroyed; 1 man in critical condition after “explosive” domestic dispute”

  1. Storm says:

    Prayers for the physical recovery of the wounded, and best wishes for the financial recovery of all.

  2. Karl says:

    Thank goodness the victims and police officers got out in time! One can only hope that N.E.M.O. and other community members will help the dispossessed. Fortunately, Ms. Ireland, after much domestic abuse, was level-headed enough to get the heck out of there in time…as was the quick-thinking police officers who also duly alerted the neighbours. Gratitude, officers! May they recover from their minor injuries soon and return to serve and to protect a.s.a.p. We need you, guys! Kudos, officers! As for Orson Emerson Twist,…! Still, he is in a battle for his very life! O, Placencia! Placencia, community I love so well!

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