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Mar 27, 2019

Marta’s Snack Shop is Robbed and Set on Fire

A well-known snack shop that over the years blossomed into an integral feature of the community in the Lake Independence area of Belize City was destroyed by an overnight fire. A blaze quickly swept through Marta’s Snack Shop on Lacroix Boulevard and when residents got up this morning, only the rubble remained of the popular neighbourhood shop. We found the Ramirez family stunned that after a robbery; thieves set the snack shop on fire. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before two o’clock this morning, a fire erupted inside Marta’s Snack Shop on Lacroix Boulevard in Belize City. Marta Ramirez has been operating her snack shop in the Lake Independence area for over fifteen years, providing tasty foods at rock bottom prices to those in need as well as residents in the area. The family of eight was awoken by the crackling sound of the fire.


Rolando Ramirez

Rolando Ramirez, Son of Fire Victim

“Last night I mi di sleep like around one, two, when I hear my father di scream. And he tell me that the shop di burn down, the fast food shop. Nuff people know the fast food shop because everybody from around this area come around. When I come out, it mi done deh pan full flame. Fire mi di come all through the windows, through from the top of the ceiling as well. It’s not something that somebody woulda out off that easily. We couldn’t do anything about it. It just mi deh pan flames.”


But it would appear that the fire was deliberately set by thieves who broke into the fast food shop and stole containers with food products. Investigators have since been able to nab at least one of the suspected culprits who News Five understands is from the area.


Rolando Ramirez

“The investigators were investigating around the area and they found that the lock mi burst and my ma as well…she usually have wa lee container of where she left some of her stuff like chips and maybe lee ramen and stuff for the people and that mi gone missing. Usually the fire, lee plastic woulda burn down and yo woulda see the lee colour because the crates from the cokes, they melt and dehn deh right there; you could see the colour red. Wah neighbour say dehn see some people, like three people ina wah bicycle di ker wah Rubbermaid thing and we explain that to the police and they investigate and they call my ma this morning and said they have some suspects already.”


The wooden structure and its contents were valued at about twelve thousand dollars, and everything was destroyed. According to Rolando Ramirez, his parents are looking at rebuilding as soon as possible because the shop is the bread and butter for the household.


Rolando Ramirez

“Ten to fifteen years already and this shop maintain a lot of families as well cause my ma she has like over six, seven kids weh she have to maintain and all the income come directly from the shop.”


Duane Moody

“It could have been worst too because it is dangerously close to other houses and there were gas tanks in there.”


Rolando Ramirez

“Oh yes. Actually we have two gas tanks; we have a big one and a small one. But the good part about it is that my sister, every night before she go sleep, she lock the gas tanks. And the fire-fighters say that’s a really good thing as well because if dehn gas tank  mi end up di explode, it mi wah cause a whole commotion and some of the houses mi wah get affected as well.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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