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Sep 22, 2023

Independence Day Fire at Mex Avenue & Fairweather Street

On Thursday night, a fire gutted an abandoned structure at the corners of Mex Avenue and Fairweather Street in Belize City. It is a location that was used by many to watch the Independence Day Parade, but just before ten-thirty p.m., the elevated wooden and concrete structure went up in flames. Fortunately, no one was inside the structure at the time and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread to an adjacent wooden structure. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Residents living near the intersection of Mex Avenue and Fairweather Street were already indoors when they were alerted of a fire at a nearby structure. The elevated house has been abandoned and used primarily by people with mental health conditions. One resident says that the heat emanating from the fire could have been felt from a distance away.


Voice of: Eyewitness

Voice of: Eyewitness

“Our neighbours came banging on our door to wake us up because there was a huge fire happening and most of us had just fallen asleep. So when I heard the banging, I got up, I opened the door and I felt this heat and when I looked across the street, it was up in flames. It was a huge fire, but the fire-fighters were already here trying to out it.”


The National Fire Service received the call just before ten-thirty p.m. and two trucks were dispatched to the area. Quick response from firefighters allowed for the fire to be contained and it was completely extinguished before midnight and electrical power restored to the area quickly.


Kenneth Mortis

Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service

“When we arrived that building was totally engulfed in flames. We managed to extinguish the fire, limiting the damages to that one structure whereby an investigation started. The investigation revealed that it was a thirty-six by twenty-four elevated structure of mixed type. The fire department standing operating procedures is that once there is a structural or house fire in progress, regardless of the location of that fire, two stations are always deployed simultaneously. One will always reach before the next, but the protocol is that we dispatch both stations.”


Voice of: Eyewitness

“It was a horrible fire and it could have been much worse because there were other wooden houses; one in the same yard and others on the same side of the street. So it could have been a really horrible fire, but thank you to the fire department, they did an amazing job and they came prepared for the fire.”


Duane Moody

“Did anyone live inside that property?”


Voice of: Eyewitness

“Umm, no. the owner of that property died a couple months ago so it was unoccupied. But I am not sure if anyone went up there or how it started. We just woke up to flames, really big flames.”


The building reportedly had no utilities.  So what could have caused the fire?


Kenneth Mortis

“What we did learn was one of the rooms located in the south eastern portion of the building where the fire reportedly started from had a single bed with mattress which showed that somebody was occupying the building, even though we know the building was an abandoned building. We can’t even identify who was the sole person occupying the building. Probably in the next couple days that person will reveal himself as he will then try to get assistance from the other government agencies. How the fire started exactly has still not been determined as yet. Prematurely, it shows signs that the occupant might have left something burning in the room which fell and caught the mattress on fire which in turn burned down the structure”


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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