Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Disasters, Environment » Elderly Woman Perishes in House Fire in San Ignacio
Aug 18, 2022

Elderly Woman Perishes in House Fire in San Ignacio

Merlene Wellington

An apartment building fire claimed the life of sixty-two-year-old woman in San Ignacio on Wednesday night. On Monday, Merlene Wellington, a sixty-two-year-old resident of 18th Street, San Ignacio lost power at her home, after she was unable to pay her electricity bill. Last night, she lit a candle in her house. Tonight, her family suspects that the fire which claimed her life began from that candle. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Just before twelve a.m. Shantel Hendy heard her sixty-two-year-old mother shout for help next door. Hendy was inside the second of three apartments that make up the structure.

Shantel Hendy

Shantel Hendy, Daughter of Deceased
“The moment that I recognized that fire in the house, I hear my mother holler Shantel. I said, yes mam? She said fire. I jumped out of my bed and I come outside. When I reach this direction the fire was already blazing all the way up there.”

She quickly sprung up and went to her mother’s aid, only to find the house already ablaze with her mother trapped inside.


Shantel Hendy

“So I went for help. They assist me with help tryiong to bang the door open, bang the door open. But, they couldn’t get it open. Eveyrbody tried to help me I tried my best to try and save my mother, but she was fighting for her life. She was, I know. Because, when the door open my mom head that way and her foot is his way.”

Eldon Murillo, the next door neighbor, was the first to respond to Shantel’s cries for help. His attempts at breaching the front and side doors of Wellington’s apartment were unsuccessful.

Eldon Murillo

Eldon Murillo, Fire Victim
“I hear the daughter of the deceased the halla, help, help fire. She come and bang pan my window and ih daughter come knock pan my door. When I hurry rush out, I grab my phone and seh I done know I have to go eena the house if she can’t come out. I have to go behind her. So, I gawn to her room window and I notice that fire the come through the kitchen window. So, I try bruk out two of the windows to get in the house. When I bruk out two of the windows at her room, I nuh see she or the dog. I flash my phone een deh and I the halla and she nuh answer. So I haul from the window and come by my door. By the time I come dah my house fih get a iron stool by my door, my two chairs done deh pan fire. This dah less than two minutes I left from my house to go there. Me and the next grand son mih the try bruk open the bottom piece for the door, we mih can’t kick it fully open, but we took a line stick and iron piece and start bruk the door from the bottom. As the door bruk open from the bottom, the fire move from knew height to over our head.”

After many failed attempts at entering the burning home, both Hendy and Murillo realized that there was nothing more they could have done to save Wellington without losing their own lives.

Eldon Murillo

“To be honest all I mih the try do dah get she outta dah house. That dah all I mih the base pan. And the same thing with he, we mih the try get ah out. We just mih the try work together, put two head together to try get een deh. We even bruk the neighbor pipe the try haul hose cross the out this thing and everything gone.”


Paul Lopez

“How you felt after realizing that you can’t help and that she would lose her life?”


Eldon Murillo

“Dah one of the worst feeling pah.”

Shantel Hendy
“What went through my mind is that I just have to accept the fact that my mom is gone, but she shouldn’t be burned that way, you understand. She shouldn’t be burned that way. The way I will remember my mom is that she halla for me, before she took her last breath.”

One of Wellington’s long time friends, Ruby Tut visited the residents today to pay her respects.

Ruby Tut

Ruby Tut, Friend of Deceased
“We are friends. She is like my mom. She is like my sister. When I have my problems I come to her. She was a nice lady. I come only last weekend. I came to spend weekend here. I went to sell with her, we came here. If she buy a coke she buy one for me. When she has I have. When I don’t have, she still have. I don’t know. I just finish talk to her when my son called me and tell me mom, you know your good friend mama Merls die? I tell him no. My niece Tyra called me and say aunty come, come and see mih mah because grandma bun down eena ih room eena ih house.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

Wellington was well known in San Ignacio for the rice and beans she sold daily near the Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio.


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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed