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May 25, 2021

La Isla Bonita Hotel Destroyed by Fire

There was an early morning fire in San Pedro on Sunday that could have caused massive structural damage to nearby properties had the Belize National Fire Service not responded promptly.  The blaze is believed to have started inside the kitchen at Pedro’s Inn and quickly spread across the building before destroying an adjacent bar.  That’s where a team of firemen stationed on the island was able to extinguish the blaze.  While Pedro’s in was decimated, they were able to prevent the fire from spreading.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A thirty-two room hotel in San Pedro was reduced to cinders on Sunday morning when it went up in flames.  Pedro’s Inn, a budget stay for visitors of Ambergris Caye, was consumed by an inferno that gutted both floors of the wooden building.  When a team of firefighters arrived at the scene shortly before six o’clock, the structure was already engulfed.


Voice of: Gladstone Bucknor, Station Chief, San Pedro Fire Dept.

“At about 5:46 a.m. on the twenty-third of May, 2021, the San Pedro Branch of the National Fire Service received a call of a structural fire at Pedro’s Inn on Sea Grape Drive.  Fire Appliance 3514 was dispatched to the location.  On arrival at the scene, a two-storey wooden structure with zinc roof measuring approximately thirty-five feet by fifty feet was seen with thick black smoke coming from out of the top front which is the east side of the building and flames at the rear which is the north and northwest of that building.”


Another property adjacent to the burning hotel was already catching fire.  The responding firemen had to act quickly to douse both buildings.


Voice of Gladstone Bucknor

“Also seen was a separate building located in front of the burning structure approximately four feet away.  Fire was seen behind the counter of the bar area.  Fire personnel got into operation extinguishing the isolated fire behind the bar area with one of the fire extinguishers located on the premises.  The arrival of the appliance, the fire department personnel got into operation and brought the blaze, the burning building under control.”


In Belize City this afternoon, Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis, of the Belize National Fire Service, provided additional details on the inferno that eviscerated the hotel and the nearby bar.


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, Belize National Fire Service

“It was a scary Sunday morning for the firefighting team over in San Pedro.  The smoke and the fire seen from a distance painted a different picture versus when we actually reached, versus firefighting, versus the aftermath.  We were fortunate enough, on behalf of the administration of the fire department and the ministry, I must recognize the firefighting efforts from the guys out there in San Pedro.  We believe they did an excellent job in containing that damage to what was left.  Looking at the surroundings, I am pretty sure it could have been worse.”


There are reports that the fire may have been deliberately set.  As a result, one person has been taken into police custody for questioning.


Kenneth Mortis

“We have that same information as well.  We are working closely with the police department to try and find out the character.  We are trying to see if there is any footage out there, any camera that picked up anything out of the ordinary. It did initially start from the kitchen area.  We have confirmed with management that the kitchen wasn’t busy at that time hence the reason we are not leaning towards the fact that it might not have been something left on or abandoned.  Even the remains of the burners and so forth still show that they were in the off stage, so that can confirm that the fire didn’t start from any stove or any stuff like that. We learnt that Pedro’s Inn was insured with RF&G.  At this current moment, the fire department is still trying to wrap up its investigation in trying to determine exactly the cause, and even if inquiring minds would want to know the estimated loss to the establishment.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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