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Jul 2, 2019

Faulty Water Heater Destroys Home in the North

A fire destroyed a family home in the early hours of Monday morning.  The Nah family was asleep inside their home on Tate Street in Orange Walk Town when one of them was awakened by noises in the kitchen.  The family escaped from their home with only the clothes on their backs as they watched everything go up in smoke. Today, the fire department said that the fire was caused by a faulty water heater.


Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service

“At approximately 2:02 a.m. the Orange Walk branch of the National Fire Service received information from the police of a structural fire in the Otro Benque area of Orange Walk Town.  Two units were dispatched to that location and upon arrival on scene found was a bungalow wooden structure with zinc roof measuring approximately forty by fifty feet fully engulfed in flames. As a result of that fire, that structure was lost. Investigation revealed that the fire originated in the kitchen of the structure and the cause of the fire was determined to be a faulty water heater. It was fortunate for them that one of the tenants was up first and recognized the fire and alerted the others. The house had two exits so they got out quite safely. As a standard means, every structure should have a minimum of two exits to give the occupants more than one means of getting out of the building in the event of such incidents occurring. These exits should not be located close to each other but on opposite walls or diagonal of the building so that a single fire doesn’t obstruct both exits and render them inaccessible at the same time.  There are hydrants but not near the immediate area where the fire located. Unfortunately, it is not practical for us to put hydrants every two lamp post length along the road. We try to establish one or two in each of the various areas, strategically so that we would have water supply and wouldn’t have to travel significant distance and which cuts down the turnaround time before you can return to the fire. Some of the challenges would be the flow within the hydrant the pressure it has and how fast it can fill the tank. There were hydrants in the area just not in the immediate area where the fire was. When you respond to a fire where the structure is of that size and within a fully developed fire, you will not be able to save the structure. You will put out the fire but the structure will be lost.”

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