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Apr 5, 2018

Fire Destroys Poor Man’s Home

There were two house fires in Belize City in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Around two-thirty that morning on Flamboyant Street, a fire broke inside the home of a forty-three-year-maintenance worker and his seventeen-year-old son. The electrical fire consumed the entire house and nothing was saved. News Five’s Andrea Polanco tells us more.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Joseph Gabourel woke up to smoke inside his home on Flamboyant Street in Belize City around two-thirty on Wednesday morning. He made a quick check inside his son’s bedroom but luckily his teenage son was not inside. He didn’t have time to save any of his belongings because the flames inside chased him out of the burning house.


Joseph Gabourel

Joseph Gabourel, Fire Victim

“I gone sleep about nine o’clock and I get up about 2:33 when the fire start. The fire di bun me so I had to escape and get outta the house quick. The fire mi di escape fast, so I had to get outta the house fast.”



“We understand you have a son but he wasn’t at home at the time?”


Joseph Gabourel

“He lived in the back room weh I see the blaze. By the time I knock on his window, I got no response. So, I gone and bust open his door and when I buss open the door, the fire buss inna mi face and knock me down. So, I can’t help myself and I had to run from the house and the house bun quick.”


Orin Smith

Fire-fighters arrived on the scene shortly after but the plycem-cement house and its contents were destroyed by the time the blaze was put out. The Fire Department says that investigations show that this home electrical fire was caused by a fan.


Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“On arrival, a twenty by thirty concrete and plycem structure was seen engulfed in flames and a fire was later extinguished by fire personnel. Investigation revealed that the fire originated in a room on the south-west of the structure. The structure had no electricity from B.E.L. at the time and was being fed by a drop. The fire originated as a result of a fan, that perhaps was left on and overheated.”


Gabourel says that the fan that reportedly caused the fire was in good working condition.


Joseph Gabourel

“Fi tell you the truth, I nuh know weh start the fire because I gone sleep good and it just start on its own.”


Andrea Polanco

“Your fan neva di give any kinda trouble – malfunction – any problems like that?”


Joseph Gabourel

“No. No trouble. Nothing.”


Gabourel’s property is valued at around thirty-thousand dollars. He says that he is in dire need of some assistance to rebuild.  He is now staying with neighbours, but would like to have his own roof over his head.  Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


If you’d like to assist, you can go to #3948 Flamboyant Street and ask for Joseph Gabourel.

Thirty minutes after that blaze, firefighters responded to an area on Antelope Street Extension. Around three a.m., a fire started inside the wooden twenty by twenty-five feet house which caused damages to the floor and beam of the house. The homeowner, Leticia Pop, told police that she was sleeping when she was awakened by the strong smell of smoke and upon making checks she saw her floor burning in the middle section of the living room. Pop was able to extinguish the fire. The house was not insured and the value of the damages is yet to be ascertained. Police have since detained a man pending an investigation.

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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