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May 29, 2009

Arson suspected in George Street fire

Story PictureA fire that broke on George Street near downtown Belize City this afternoon threatened to spread to other wooden houses in the area. But a quick call to the fire department saved the day. Firefighters say they received the call at eleven fifty two and three minutes later, they arrived on the scene at the corner of King and George streets. Though the investigation is still underway, residents in the area believed the cause was arson.

Ali Staine, Witnessed Fire
“I was looking right cross here, I see when Adam went upstairs. I was talking to a customer. I told her that boy that lazy man deh, I give ah job, he walk off the job. Anyhow di boy gone upstairs, come downstairs back through the back deh. Ih noh come out through the gate. I tell customer, I seh hey di house deh pan fire. I si smoke di pop out ah di place and we couldn’t get through dat’s why ih burn completely.”

Kenneth Mortis, Training Officer, Fire Department
“On arrival we saw a two storey wooden structure approximately twenty-four by twenty fully engulfed in flames. We got into operation in extinguishing and containing this fire, which was done at twelve-O-seven. Our team is presently in the mopping up stage and as soon as we get through, an investigation into the cause of the fire will continue.”

Jose Sanchez
“Was this an abandoned house?”

Kenneth Mortis
“Off the street, we hear that it’s an abandoned house.”

Jose Sanchez
“Were you concerned that your home might have been burnt?”

Ali Staine
“Hell yes, because di amount ah heat weh dis mi di give dah mi over ninety degrees heat now. Cross yah, I had to shut di door because di heat was so much and if yoh got thing like alcohol and so ih combustible and I always got lee alcohol.”

Jose Sanchez
“So it’s definitely arson. Would you be able to recognize that man if you saw him again?”

Ali Staine
“Hell yes, ih used to live yah man. Den ih gone down south and thing. I noh know who dah ih pa den ih gone dah Ladyville. Dehn live somewhere inna DePorres area.”

Jose Sanchez
“Some residents were saying that they saw someone go up, right before the fire; someone who used to live in the house.”

Kenneth Mortis
“Strange enough, like I said, if someone who used to live in the house, exited the house, shortly before the fire, then we need to find that individual and probably have him questioned by the police and to say exactly what was his business in the building before the fire.”

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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