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Jun 14, 2023

4-Year-Old Child Perishes in Early Morning Five

K’Lee Flores

We begin tonight’s newscast with the tragic death of a four-year-old special needs child who lost her life in a fire this morning in Belize City.  A fire broke out around four a.m., while the family slept inside their Sarstoon Street home. It spread quickly and consumed the upper flat of the two storey structure. Several attempts were made to save the child, who was trapped inside the burning building. After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters reportedly discovered the charred remains of K’Lee Flores under the bed. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The raging fire captured in this amateur video was shortly after four o’clock this morning – before firefighters arrived on the scene and after all but one person sleeping inside the building was able to escape. It was the home of Fabrio Paredez, who was reportedly sleeping next door when the fire broke.


Fabrio Paredez

Fabrio Paredez, Uncle of Deceased

“I rush out and I look left and I look right, when I look right, I see a big blaze of fire. That dah when I rush downstairs and grab a bucket of water and I run upstairs back and try dash it dah the door fu take out mi niece because ih tell me mi niece inside. So I di try rush fi go deh fi try help. Meanwhile I di do that, I di bawl out to everybody fi make dehn evacuate. After that, I make fire attempts to get inside the house, five attempts to try save the baby. Five attempts. I come back, I neva had on no shirt, only a pants – noh even boxers – only a pants to try save the lee baby and I couldn’t. I wasn’t successful in saving mi lee niece. It touch me a lot because I partly raised her along with my mother. My mother deceased, my father deceased years ago, before my mother and we raise that child. I love my niece. I love my niece and I mine ahn to the fullest and I promise my bredda I wa always keep ahn safe, but I couldn’t save ahn from this fire. And I wish my bredda could hear me out and know that I try my best fi save ih daughter. I tried.”


Four-year-old K’Lee Flores died inside a room at the front of the house. Her mother had dropped her off on Tuesday for an overnight.  Paredez and some friends were reportedly socialising that night and went to sleep just around three o’clock, an hour before the fire broke. Paredez’s thirteen-year-old sister was sleeping in the room with the child. He tells News Five that K’Lee was born with jaundice; she could not walk and was living with a disability. After the fire was extinguished, her charred remains were discovered by fire-fighters under the bed inside the bedroom.


Fabrio Paredez

“Mi sister mi ina di room. Ih say that ih pick up the baby and the baby bite ahn and ih mi di try fight fi open the door at the same time so ih release the baby and ih pick ahn up again and ih bite ahn. And that dah when eventually ih run out cause the fire done ketch pan the sheet and the bed so ih run out and when I get up and I gone check, I neva hear wah scream or nothing. So I try eventually fi attempt to go ina the room, but too much blaze, too much fire. So I go in, I di cough cause the smoke di go ina mi lungs. I come outside fi air, I rush in back. The third attempt I made, I notice that mi son and mi wife noh come out a di house so I rush in back fi try save dehn. When I gone in back, dah same time I meet dehn di come out and help dehn down the step and I rush in back again. And when I reach I reach into the hallway the fifth time, all I see dah just smoke. I di choke. Me and a next two guys and after that all I see dah lone fire after that. I neva even can’t see a couch, a TV or nothing. So I couldn’t save nothing.”


Paredez confirms that ten persons were inside the house, including three minors. The National Fire Service says the fire originated from the bedroom that the little girl was in.


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service

“We can say that the fire originated from the child’s bedroom and then spread backward to the bathroom which would represent the front of the house and after that it spread up and out and consume the balance of the building. It wasn’t until probably within five to seven minutes in trying to extinguish the fire that we were alerted that somebody might have been in the building. By then, it was way too late for us to try to conduct any form of internal fire fighting as the entire upper of this structure had already been gutted and the debris was falling on the second floor or the ground floor of this building.”


Tedra Brakeman is from La Democracia Village, but stays here during the week for school. She is a third form student at Excelsior High School. It is review week, but all her school uniforms, books and other items were destroyed in the blaze. She gives an account of what happened.


Tedra Brakeman

Tedra Brakeman, Fire Victim

“The thirteen-year-old she get up and she bang and holler “Paisa” fire. So I jump up and when I jump up, me and she start bang pan the door and ih bredda get up. I ask ahn weh di baby; ih say the baby ina the room and I said oh my God. And then when I look fire done deh pile up ina the room. Can’t say run in run out – nope cause me miself mi ah get burn up. We can’t save nothing. Nothing nothing; only wi-self and all the other kids.”


Duane Moody

“All yo books and school things…”


Tedra Brakeman

“My school things, everything gone. I mi need fi go to school today because I have some reviews weh I have to do for school.”


What started the fire is unknown, but Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis says that they have been able to rule out several possible causes and believes that those inside the house are not forthcoming with information.


Kenneth Mortis

“Our electrician, which is a part of the fire department certified by P.U.C., electrical flaw was ruled out. We confirmed that there was no cooking at that time so we cannot say that it was a stove left unattended. We checked the area thoroughly, we couldn’t find anything to support even if the neighbours or family members would want to alleged to a malicious act, we didn’t detect any of those at the scene. We didn’t detect any foreign substance, hence the reason I said due to the credibility of the information received from the scene, it is throwing a wrench in trying to determine the exact cause to the fire. I know there is something bigger than what is coming from the fire scene, but due to lack of proper cooperation from the families affected, I believe that at the end of today, if we cannot directly determine the cause, this will leave a stump in our investigation.”


The house was completely destroyed by fire and was uninsured. The total value in damages is yet to be determined. Paredez says that anyone wanting to assist can contact him at KBH Security. 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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