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Sep 25, 2019

Family Questions Circumstances Surrounding Elmer Chub’s Death

Elmer Chub

There was loss of life and property from the devastating fire on Caye Caulker over the weekend which also displaced fourteen persons. The cause of the fire is still undetermined but we have been reliably informed that one person was detained but later released. Elmer Chub perished in the fire and his lifeless body was pulled out of the rubble on Saturday from a two-story apartment complex on Avenida Langosta.  He was inside his room as the fire swept through the building.  Months before, Chub relocated to Caye Caulker in search of a job and found one as a mechanic.  His family is from San Jose, Orange Walk and are reeling from the loss. Today, they spoke with Dalila Ical and they believe there is more to the tragic incident than meets the eye and are looking for answers in the death of Elmer.


Dalila Ical, Reporting

The family of thirty-two year old Elmer Chub has confirmed that he was the person whose charred remains were found under the rubbles following the fire at Caye Caulker Village. His sister Brenda Vasquez who also lived at the apartment building says they are simply waiting for his body to proceed with his burial.


Brenda Vasquez, Sister of Deceased [Translated]

“My brother says he is unrecognizable but I explained to him that he should check his belt. He had a cloth belt and he had a buckle and that is what he had on his body.”


Vasquez says she had left the island earlier on the twentieth of September and headed to Orange Walk.


Brenda Vasquez

Brenda Vasquez [Translated]

“I spoke with my little brother around one o’clock because I was upstairs. When I came down he was working in the garage and I told him, when I headed out, I told him ‘bro, I’m leaving’, I told him, ‘did you collect?’, I asked. ‘No, I haven’t collected yet until I finish working’. So I told him ok, I am leaving. Then I asked him if he will send something. ‘Tell mamita that until I collect on Tuesday I will send her money,’ he said. ‘Ok bro’, I responded, ‘I’m ‘leaving now’. I took a taxi and went to the water taxi and from there I left. When I came, I left him working and I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen.” 


She headed to her mother’s house in San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District. Chub would call his mother later that night. She was the last family member who spoke with him before his demise.


Martha Chub

Martha Chub, Mother of Deceased [Translated]

“He called me two minutes after eight o’clock in the night on the twentieth. I don’t know what happened to my son. He told me mami I will go down on October 14th for my birthday, he said.  He was going to celebrate his birthday on October fourteenth. I will take ceviche for my birthday. Ok, I told him. But you sound like you are drinking already, I said. No mom, I am not drinking, he said.  So go to sleep I told him. Yes mom, he said, you know I obey you. That is all he said and the call was cut off.”


The family is still grappling with the loss, and surveillance footage they received of how the fire allegedly started has only left them with more questions. At a few seconds before the clock struck 12:17 a.m. on the video, there is a small flicker of light. It disappears and at eighteen minutes after midnight, there is a spark, then a fire which quickly grows. The family says this happened next to the Chub’s apartment.


Brenda Vasquez [Translated]

“I also cannot understand how the young man who stayed there, in the other room, couldn’t take him out. How did he get out and my little brother did not? That is what I don’t understand, because he stayed next to the door and the other young man stayed on the other side. How did he make it out and my little brother did not because they say the fire started from that side. How come he came out, he was able to come out and he couldn’t help my little brother to get out? And to come out is where my little brother is. So if my little brother is right where the door is to come out, that is what I don’t understand. How could he come out and my little brother didn’t.”


Vasquez had been living at the apartment building for two years and has also lost everything she owned in the fire.


Brenda Vasquez [Translated]

“I lost all my belongings. I left there with only some clothes because I came here with my children. All I had was lost as well. I was left with nothing.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Dalila Ical.

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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