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Jan 3, 2020

Burn Victim Critical at K.H.M.H. after Flamboyant Street Fire

Elena Reina

The New Year did not start well for two Belize City families. Their houses on Flamboyant Street were destroyed by a fire that spread quickly gutting the two wooden structures.  As many as eight persons are displaced and a mother of three is clinging to life at the K.H.M.H.  Elena Reina was sound asleep when the fire broke; luckily, neighbours were able to get her out of the burning house. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

A mother of three is in a critical condition inside the Intensive Care Unit of the K.H.M.H. after receiving burns to almost fifty percent of her body. Elena Reina was sleeping inside a wooden house on Flamboyant Street when a fire erupted. News Five understands that Reina frequently visited with the owner of the primary structure, who was not at home at the time of the fire. Luckily, persons from within the same residence attempted to put out the fire and that’s how Reina survived the inferno.


Antonio Reina

Antonio Reina, Brother of Fire Victim

“We are waiting to the results from the doctor and what they will tell us to know what is the plan. I don’t know exactly, but my sister told me this morning that they are waiting and that she has fifty percent burning on her body so after this I don’t know. So we just have to wait. I don’t know exactly why she be at that moment at that place. Probably she is just visit a friend of hers, but I don’t know exactly.”


Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen, First Responder

“We neva notice that she mi deh pan di bed either. So when we see she pan di bed, he see she foot and ih dash water pan ahn and soh she get up. But when she get up, yo know how when yo just get up from sleep and dizzy. She mi still dizzy. Ih mi still deh pan the bed, but when ih know that dah mi fire, ih get up and walk come out. But after that the whole place just ketch pan fire. Ih get burn bad, ih skin di peel off and thing.”


Twenty-year-old Michael Bowen was sleeping in an adjacent wooden structure, which later caught fire and was also destroyed by the inferno.  He says he was awaken by his cousin and quickly tried to put out the fire, which, according to him, started at three different spots in the house.


Michael Bowen

“My lee cousin come and wake tell me if I noh smell weh di burn. So I come outside and when I look ina di house over there, I see three fire: one by the table, one by the bed and one by the chair. So I halla fi the man weh live next door, Mister Greg, that fire and then we try out the one weh we could out. So I out the two by the table and the chair, but the one by the bed, just neva mi can’t out.”


The second bungalow house within the yard is owned by Fallon Gamboa, who was at work at the time of the blaze. She says she had left home around two p.m. and two hours later, she got the distress call. Everything, including recently purchased household items, was destroyed in the fire.


Fallon Gamboa

Fallon Gamboa, Fire Victim

“They call me 4:30 and tell me that di house on fire cause my daughter was the one who alerted the next young man who stays with me, Michael Bowen. Everything damage fi we. Fi he house totalled. My one, I just fix up fi Christmas and everything gone: bed, chair, everything. My baby just some brand new stuff—tablet, phone—they run lef everything weh dehn traumatized. Nothing noh save. And when I come from work, yes di fire dehn on and I gone in there fi try see weh I coulda try take out, di close and different thing but ih done burn up. Like I can’t. like I say, I noh know how I di stand up. Only god knows. My whole inside di hot me from last night. I noh even sleep. I get up from after three this morning and still deh up right now.”


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service

“Two of the three structures were totally damaged as a result of the fire. We learnt that the two building houses eight different family members. Unfortunately, one female that was resting in the primary house where the fire started from, she sustained fire damage to approximately forty percent of her body in varying degrees.”


But the origin of the fire is still unknown because the investigation so far has ruled out arson and faulty electrical wiring as the cause. Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis explains.


Kenneth Mortis

“The investigation isn’t concluded as yet. It is a bit out of the norm so to speak. There are certain aspects that we can rule out. We can rule out arson attempt, we can rule out cooking and those sorts of things. It is still ongoing as we speak and we are hoping that before the day is over, we can conclude that the fire started as a result of this.”


Anyone who would like to assist can contact Gamboa at 631-1281. 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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