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Aug 26, 2014

Gungulung Resident Burns Down Aunt’s Home

Tonight, one man from the Gungulung area has confessed to starting the fire which completely gutted his aunt’s forty by thirty foot wooden home on Holy Emmanuel Street. The blaze was spotted just after midday, and burned bright and hot, but the destruction was contained by the swift response of the National Fire Service. Belizean American, Sonia Harris, lost her passport, personal items and everything else in the blaze. As incredible as it seems, indications are that Darrell Alvarez actually threatened to burn down the home just one day before it burned to the ground. Our News Five team was on the scene minutes after the erupted and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

The two storey wooden structure, owned by Sonia Harris, was completely destroyed by the fire which was blazing out of control when we got there. The Fire Department took a little time to get sorted out, but when they did, a steady stream of water was enough to conquer the flames. But of course, by that time there was nothing left of the structure. Sonia Harris arrived shortly after, and was devastated by what she saw. She could barely contain her grief at the loss, and also her fury – fury because this woman claims that on Monday her nephew, Darrell Alvarez, told her that he was going to burn down the house.


Sonia Harris, Owner of Home

Sonia Harris

“I just left my house not even five minutes ago. I left my nephew in my house. My nephew threatened my house yesterday. I actually left my house this morning to go to the precinct to make a report that my nephew was threatening to burn my house down. His name is Darrell Alvarez. Because I mek fi he woman lef my house last night…my nephew pack up all the things them and mek e woman tek di things them. I left my nephew in my house not even five minutes, and I just gone da my ma and my nephew burn my house down.”


The National Fire Service got the call at twelve-forty-five and dispatched two units. Three buildings were in the yard and the one at the rear was on fire. That fire was extinguished without any damage to the other two structures. Investigators have already ruled out fire by faulty electrical wiring.


Benisford Matura

Benisford Matura, Operation Officer, National Fire Service

“We’ve started our investigation and the information revealed form investigators revealed that the fire started in the northeastern section of the structure which is one of the bedroom. Further investigation reveal that it started somewhere on top of the mattress and probably with the use of clothing it started because clothing was spread all over the room.”


Mike Rudon

“There have been some reports that it may have been faulty electrical wiring, have you all explored that avenue?”


Benisford Matura

“Yeah, we have looked at that but it’s not that. It didn’t start from the wiring. Like is and we canvassed the area in the bedroom and found that the clothes were spread all over the floor in an unusual pattern that no one would have done, it wouldn’t be normal.”



Harris lives in the US, and was spending the summer here while she fixed up her home. The plan was to have her brother stay there to take care of the house, and that is why she had informed her nephew that she wanted him out of the house.


Sonia Harris

“For two years I had my nephew living in my house without paying me rent. My nephew was in my house, and I came because my nephew was doing all the wrong things, he was doing drugs in my house, he was selling drugs. I buy up, I fix up my house…you know how much money I pay on my place here? All I did I came from the States the twenty-sixth of June, and I came here fixing up my place. Yesterday my brother moved in and my nephew girlfriend move out…my nephew sent all his things with his girlfriend. I left my nephew in my house not even five minutes and my nephew ketch my house fire. All my things went down. I noh worry bout the things, but my green card, passport everything is in there…all my jewellery is in that place burned up.”


Darrell Alvarez left the scene shortly after the fire started, and allegedly told persons there that he was headed to his mother’s home to set that on fire. Mike Rudon reporting for News Five.


Fire Service personnel this evening told us that Darrell Alvarez was picked up by Police and confessed to lighting the fire at his aunt’s home. We tried to verify with Police but were unsuccessful before news time.

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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