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Apr 26, 2019

Official Details on Vehicle Fire at Gas Station

A pickup truck was totally destroyed by fire on Thursday in Belize City. The incident happened at a gas station so it caused alarm because of the potential risks to life and property. Fortunately, the matter was dealt with safely; still there are lessons to be learnt. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

What could have been a major catastrophe was averted on Thursday afternoon when a fire broke inside the hood of a vehicle. The white pickup truck had just arrived at Shell One Stop gas station to fuel up when the attention of the gas attendant was drawn to smoke coming from the front of the vehicle. The Fire Department responded to the scene within minutes.


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service

“The fire department received and responded to a fire call of a vehicle in progress at the Shell Gas Station roundabout, Belize City. On arrival, we observed a white two-door ford pickup which had heavy smoke and fire damage coming from under the hood, primarily concentrated on the front wheel of the passenger section of the said vehicle. As per normal, we got into operation in extinguishing this fire after which we made an attempt to launch an investigation into the cause of this fire.”


Within minutes the fire was extinguished, the vehicle was extensively damaged in by the blaze. While fortunately the situation was contained, the potential danger and risks were high because of the volume of fuels stored on the compound.  There are also many businesses and houses in proximity to the gas station.


Kenneth Mortis

“The potential danger could have been a catastrophic one indeed. Fortunately, we along with the help of the attendants—I am not going to take all the credit for that; the attendants were very helpful in being part of the first responders. So when we got there, it was really to do the basic map up and complete extinguishment of the fire. In the event that worst case scenario should have played itself out, it would have been a catastrophe where no doubt civilians would have lost lives; we probably would have still been out there picking up the pieces up to this day.”


Station supervisor Kenneth Mortis says that best practices implemented by Shell Gas Station, when it relates to the storage of fuel, saved the day.


Kenneth Mortis

“Tanks are now stored underground. What I like about the new system is that there is a shutoff switch right at the valve of each of the dispensers. So it allows a few minutes before excessive heat could have caused damage to those pump dispensers. But like you said, in the event that it was a worst case scenario, we would have probably been out there still picking up the pieces. It is the initiative of the general populace to be aware of what’s going on. Know the dangers that present itself in an event if something like this occurs. It is not something that you want to run into. This is our job, let alone we don’t want to run into something like this, but this is what we are paid to do. The general public just need to remember that where there is a fire, it is not every fire that you need to run into. I saw the footage on social media and I myself was a bit surprise that the public and the bystanders were allowed to be in proximity of the vehicle, taking into consideration that this is not a structural fire, but a gas station we are talking about.”


The vehicle was driven at the time by a thirty-seven-year-old man from Belize City; the vehicle owner is from Corozal. But what caused the fire?


Kenneth Mortis

“From our investigation we learnt that the vehicle had a supposedly battery flaw whereby the positive had ground itself out which in turn contributed to the cause of the fire.”


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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