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Jun 3, 2020

Family of Three Escapes Injury after House Collapse; Needs Help!

A family of three was home on Tuesday night when their house came crumbling down. Thalia Westby and her two sons have been living in the small wooden house on Baldwin Street in Belize City for two years, but the heavy rains have damaged the beams causing them to cave in.  The single mother has also lost her job and is desperately in need of help. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody with a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A single mother and her two young children were displaced on Tuesday night when the wooden structure they called home collapsed off its beams. Thalia Westby and her sons, ages eleven and nine, were about to have supper when they began hearing creaking sounds coming from the flooring. She ignored the sounds, but was later alerted by a visiting son that the beams were giving way. Westby and her sons got out moments before the house went down just before eight p.m.


Thalia Westby

Thalia Westby, Homeowner

“We heard little noise and I was wondering if the posts are giving way. My son came to visit us cause he was going to stay with us last night. He stepped on the first steps and her heard the noise increasing and he tell me mom, unu come out. I just left everything there and we just come out and we just watch the house just fall down. It would have collapsed with us in there cause I wasn’t paying attention too much I just heard the noise and said that noh sound normal. So just me, my eleven-year-old and my nine-year-old was there.  It’s one little house and it noh really part off but my kids dehn sleep on their own bed and I sleep on my own bed. It’s home for us.”


Duane Moody

“So everything was destroyed when it went down?”


Thalia Westby

“I am not sure what all destroyed in there because I try to go in there this morning. From what I could see, the fridge door is open, everything came out and when I try to walk on the floor, it felt like it is going to collapse more. So I haven’t gotten any clothes out there cause I fraid the roof come down on me.”


The family has been living in the structure for about two years now; it is located to the rear of the property owned by Westby’s mother. The wooden house, however, was built over a marshy area of the property and it is believed that the recent rains exacerbated the condition of the beams which elevated the house.


Thalia Westby

“I guess because it rained a lot lately, it holds more water than usual because at the back there is like swamp. And I think it root up the posts cause when I check this morning, the posts look like it root up and the others broken. The neighbours wanted to come and help, but they are afraid that they get charge with the curfew so I just left everything there in the house. I just went and tried to find somewhere for my kids to sleep. What hurt me more is that my kids had to come out of the house last night in the water down there. I try to do the best I could with my kids and try provide for them.”


For now, Westby and her sons are living with one of her sisters. She had lost her job from a B.P.O. prior to the lockdown caused by COVID-19 and has not been able to find employment. She is asking for assistance to re-erect the home and possibly add landfill.


Thalia Westby

“I try seek assistance with stuff to fill the yard, I noh get no help with that. I know that the hurricane season di come up and I try see how I could get assistance to reinforce the posts and I noh get no help with that. So I try to see how I can get second hand stuff so that I can do it myself because I noh see that I di get any help. It is exhausting.  I really di try process this ina my head, dah how fi try take down this house by myself because finance I noh have the finance to do it. And I noh know how I wah do it yet, but I hope that God help me and open ways for me so that I can build back for me and my kids.  I woulda appreciate if I could get stuff to fill the yard, mainly and if they could help me rebuild the house with the same material, I wouldn’t mind. If God bless me with a new home, I would appreciate that too. But I just want something that me and my kids could go back and live in there and secure.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Anyone who would like to assist Westby and her family can contact her at cell phone number, 625-5543.

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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