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Dec 4, 2019

A Benque Family is Displaced by Fire

The family of thirty-two-year-old Silvia Maas lost her house and belongings in a fire on Tuesday afternoon. Maas was not at home when the blaze erupted and only rubbles remain where she once lived. The building is the property of Omar Guerra of Benque Viejo Town; it had no electricity nor was it insured. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A family of four has been displaced after a fire in Benque on Tuesday night destroyed their rented one-bedroom house on the Old Belize Road in that western town. Silvia Maas was not at home when a fire broke inside the bedroom of the wooden structure. The flames spread quickly through the building, even as residents came out and tried to put out the fire.


Marlet Cunil

Marlet Cunil, Neighbour

“I ran to my room and change and when I come out, I see the house was already burning, but I never see when it start. I hear the boys were rushing, taking water to through it.”


Duane Moody

“So people came out to try and help out the fire?”


Marlet Cunil

“Yes the next one and the lee bwai from right here. But when I come, the fire was already in the middle of the house.”


The fire officials out west received the call from police around 6:45 p.m., but were given the wrong address. Fire-fighters, who were out dealing with a brush fire, were re-routed to the area, but by then the blaze had already engulfed the property. By the time the blaze was extinguished, nothing could have been saved.


Orvin Rudon

Orvin Rudon, O.C., Benque Viejo Branch, National Fire Service

“At the time, based on information that we received from police, out fire-fighters went out and tried to find where the fire was, but it seemed it was the wrong address that they give us. So me and my second commanding officer, we went on out cycle and we did our check and found that the fire was in another area, which was the Old Belize Road. So when we reached we noticed that a house was burning and we turned back and informed our guys in the truck that we found the fire and they reached on the scene. The house as already totalled. The fire-fighters reached, got into operation, get out the hoses and get the fire extinguished.”


Residents say that the fire gave them a scare because minutes after the fire erupted, the gas tank exploded. Marlet Cunil lives next door to the property and she says that they had to evacuate from their house due to the intensity of the heat being emitted from the blaze.


Marlet Cunil

“My brother in law tell us to get out of the house cause the heat was getting inside and then we rush out. Stay right here, I mi di come and run and I think it was the gas tank and explosion. Nobody was there, only the house alone, but I don’t know why it get the fire cause it didn’t have any electricity. But the lady used to cook outside; put some fire and cook outside, but I don’t know. We don’t understand what happened there.”


The house had no electricity. While police are classifying the fire as a case of arson, leading fire-fighter Rudon says that the investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause.


Orvin Rudon

“Presently, we are still investigating and we haven’t determined any cause of the fire yet because from the investigation so far, the information we get from the occupier of the structure is that they had no electricity and at the same time, no one was at home at the time. So our investigation is still ongoing and there is no cause of the fire so far.”


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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