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Oct 7, 2019

Bush Fire Destroys House

A house was destroyed by fire in Belize City. According to residents in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, the two persons who lived inside the house weren’t at home when the fire started in some bushes near the house.  Residents say that the fire was set to control the mosquitoes in the area, but the dry bush and vehicle tyres set the blaze out of control. Reporter Andrea Polanco has more in the following story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A father and son lost everything they owned on Friday night when a fire destroyed their house on Curl Thompson Street.  The pair was living in a small, wooden structure located next to the basketball court on Jane Usher Boulevard for about twelve years. They weren’t at home when the fire started shortly after six o’clock.  Resident Russell Richards lives directly across the street. He alleges that a group of children set the bushes on fire to chase away the mosquitoes – but that fire got out of control and destroyed the house.


Russell Richards

Russell Richards, Resident

“The Fire started because of kids playing with fire trying to chase mosquitoes. It spread up to where you see it is and it spread across and catch some tyres filled in the yard and from deh it just gone.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, it destroyed a little home that was here?”


Russell Richards

“Yes. It destroyed a one bedroom home with an outdoor toilet that was there.”


Andrea Polanco

“Is that an action that they always take – light the bushes afire to chase away the mosquitoes?”


Russell Richards

“Yes. They always do it and I guess this one get out of control and where you see it now.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, it destroyed the family’s home and all of their belongings?”


Russell Richards

“Everything that they owned, including his bicycle and everything inside.”


Fire-fighters received a call about the bush fire shortly after it started. They responded to scene and there they found the grass and tyres burning. Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis says they have not been able to confirm if who started the fire.


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, Belize National Fire Service

“On our arrival, indeed, we found an open area that has overgrown vegetation and some tyres burning which created a level of panic. We got into operation to try to extinguish that particular fire and the wind direction threw a wrench in our operations. A wooden structure of twelve by fourteen of plywood construction was eventually engulfed in fire and totally destroyed. We tried to speak to some of the neighbours to back up that claim but nobody wanted to provide us with any information. As it is, as we are standing here today, the fire department has no concrete information as to who lives in the premises and how many individuals occupy the premises.”


According to Richards, this is not the first time the property, which forms a part of the park, has caught fire. Richards says that the area has become a problem for the neighbourhood. What should be a well-maintained park has become over-grown with bushes and breeding ground for mosquitoes. Roberts says they need help to address the problem for safety and health reasons:


Russell Ricahrds

“This is a part of the park. I am pleading to the Mayor to come and see the situation and try to fill this park and clear down these bushes and try to do something for this area. It is not only the fire we have with this bush. If you notice for some years, we have violence in this neighbourhood and every time this bush come up people dead inna this area because they dodge people in the bush. They do a lot of things in this bush. We have a mosquito problem and that is why I believe they were trying to stem the mosquito in the area and that caused it because the kids were playing in the park at the same time I saw the fire started. It started from over by the bleachers and it spread across to where it is over on this side.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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