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Jul 10, 2017

Who Burnt Flowers Family Out of Zacaranda Street Home?

A Belize City family is out of house and home tonight after their residence on Zacaranda Street was gutted by fire. The twenty-by-twenty-five foot wooden structure was, according to fire personnel, deliberately set on fire and its residents lost all they owned. But the question tonight is, did someone conspire to burn out the Flowers family due to a long-standing family dispute, or was it a ploy they came up with? And what about the Carnival connection, as two of the key players are leaders of long-standing Carnival bands? Aaron Humes investigated and has the following report.


Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“Investigation revealed that the fire originated on the north [side] of the structure; in that area there were some padded chairs and a refrigerator. Electrical wiring in that area did not reveal any evidence of an electrical fault, and as a result the fire is classed as incendiary in nature. The structure was not insured, neither were the contents; we understand no one was at home at the time the fire occurred. There was a family of four residing on the upper floor – two adults, two minors; and the owner of the structure resides within the U.S.”


Aaron Humes, Reporting

The above appears to be all that the several players in this tangled, complex story can agree on. Why it is that arsonists chose to target Omar and Patricia Flowers is another matter entirely. This afternoon, Omar Flowers told us that after living at the Zacaranda Street residence since 2007 and making various improvements to the property at their own cost, the owner last year began applying pressure to remove the family.


Omar Flowers

Omar Flowers, Fire Victim

“She started to text message on social media, which the message wasn’t private anymore; telling us that we have to move, we have to move by September. When she comes from the States, the house better be moved by September because she will take it down herself; she wants the house down by September. Me, I was full of distress and I wanted to know how I can move a house so fast.”


Flowers and his wife Patricia, the leader of Trenchtown Masqueraders Junior Carnival Band, say the messages got nasty, but they did not expect what happened on Saturday night.


Patricia Flowers

Patricia Flowers, Fire Victim

“I was out, because we had a carnival pageant and after the pageant we had a dance, so me and my family, we went up that side because my daughter also took part in the pageant and it was while being there that we got the call that my house was on fire.”



“Were you able to make it over, see if you could try to save anything?”


Patricia Flowers

“Yes, I made it over there; my friends brought me down, but unfortunately when we got there, everything was already burnt. All I could have done was stood and watched.”


The Flowerses lost more than ten thousand dollars in belongings. But Ashman Wiltshire, Omar’s cousin and the leader of the Belizeans United Senior Carnival Band out of Los Angeles, California, says there’s more to the story.


Ashman Wiltshire

Ashman Wiltshire, Relative of Fire Victims

“We mi deh da Travelers’ for the after party; he was there. His common-law wife, Miss Patricia Flowers had come and told us that the house was on fire. So we came from Travelers and came over here. While on the way from Travelers to here Miss Patricia’s ma asked her where Omar was; Miss Patricia said how Omar heard the phone call she got that the house was on fire and jumped in the vehicle and came to put out the fire and left her. By the time we got here, there was no Omar and no Omar’s vehicle; Omar got here well after the fact and he, in a report he gave the police officers said he was held up by Haulover Bridge by a traffic accident that was there, because he went and dropped some people dah “Blues.”


Wiltshire says that despite his mother raising Omar like her son, quarrels of a family and financial nature led to that relationship becoming strained. But would that lead to arson?


Ashman Wiltshire

“It is what it is; we were all together and he was the only person who disappeared from the bunch, and he did make a threat, twice, to burn down the place. Even in messages that Miss Patricia the common-law had messaged my mom telling her about Omar making threats to burn down the place if she didn’t get out of the place. Even with me witnessing him moving stuff out of the house.”



“He says those were Carnival costumes and dirty clothes to wash; just as you said he told you.”


Ashman Wiltshire

“I mean it’s just funny that somebody’s going to wash big twelve o’clock on their lunch break. I don’t know how you see it but that’s the way I see it.”


Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.


The Flowers family can be contacted at 670-7913 or 665-6226. Patricia Flowers has relocated to the corner of Amara Avenue and Dean Street and promises to bring out Trenchtown Masqueraders for Carnival in September.

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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