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Jun 25, 2014

2 businesses gutted to the ground – origin of fire under investigation

Following this morning’s blaze, the owners of both Kimmie’s Bar and Business Computer Systems looked through the wreckage to see if anything could be salvaged. That seems unlikely, because the destruction was absolute. In a majority of blazes, the Fire Department comes under fire for everything from response time to faulty equipment, and this one is no exception. Everyone who spoke to us on the scene complained that the Fire Department took a long time to reach, and when they did, only one truck and one hose was operational. Lourdes Smith is the owner of Business Computer Systems, or what remains of it. They lost everything, and Smith says that just maybe their building could have been saved if the Fire Department was a little more efficient.


Lourdes Smith, Owner, Business Computer Systems

Lourdes Smith

“By the time we got here, the first building was completely gone and our building was like maybe half to three-quarter burnt. The fire engines were here—two of them—one of them was not activated at all, the other one was here but nobody was pouring water on the building. And we were told that they took long in getting here and I mean I drove all the way from Boom here and I get here and they still noh start to spray water yet. I think that probably some properties could have been saved had they been able to mobilize quicker.”


Benisford Matura, Operations Officer, Belize Fire Department

“Upon arrival, we had a little problem with electricity. Well we had to contact B.E.L. to knock off the power. We have our strategy that upon arrival one truck will start the initial fire fighting while the other will seek additional water. For example, the sea was right next to the fire scene. So the additional truck went into operation in trying to draft water to resupply the scene….probably that is why he said he saw flat hose. From our strategy a line of hose will be set out to connect to the other so when the initial truck went to the open source would get water, it would feed the scene or feed the truck that is at the scene.”


Benisford Matura

Mike Rudon

“Sir can you give us a timeline from when you all responded to the scene to when both trucks started fighting the fire actively?”


Benisford Matura

“Alright, we got the call at four-thirty-seven, we arrived approximately four minutes after. The initial truck from this station started fighting the fire immediately and the other one started about three to four minutes after.”



“To be frank with you sir, there were some persons who were criticising the department saying that if you guys had operated efficiently, you would have been able to contain the fire better and that, as I am describing, mistakes were made. Do you accept that that could have happened and the situation could have been handled better?”


Benisford Matura

“That would be in their opinion. Our fire fighting…what we are doing, we are operating at the best of our ability with the circumstances.”

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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2 Responses for “2 businesses gutted to the ground – origin of fire under investigation”

  1. Timber says:

    It’s sad to hear that someone lost their life in this incident. I read the other article on this fire. Excuse me if I’m wrong. I only went to Standard VI. The other article stated that the fire raged for over two hours and the fire officer Matura said that no one informed them that someone was trapped in there until half way into fighting the fire. Hmmmmm. Either he didn’t understand the question that was asked or the woman who ran out of the building was lying. How normal is it that you know that you had to run out of a blazing building and know that someone is trapped inside and you not say anything? Unless, you have something that you’re covering up or the firemen and police are just another set of bumbling buffoons. Should I say arson or possibly cover up to maybe murder? The stories just don’t mesh. Also, how could Lourdes Smith reach all the way from Boom and state one of the trucks still wasn’t operable but yet Matura said the Fire Department got there four minutes after the call and started dousing the blaze immediately? As you said Mr. Matura, you’re working with what resources you have but if you’re going to volunteer to do a job (yes I know the salary is minimal) do it o the best of your ability. Maybe if City Council and government would stop raping this country and stealing money, we’d have better resources at hand for departments like the Fire Department.

  2. Yascer says:

    When the fire department reached the fire scene it was too late for Jacqueline to be rescued. Kimmys was already being devoured by the burning flames completely. The government should invest more to reinforce our fire department. It is very sad. My condolences goes to the Arteaga’s family!

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