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Sep 29, 2023

Berry Street Fire was Caused by Illegal Electrical Wiring

Kenneth Mortis

This afternoon, the National Fire Service confirmed that the fire was due to an illegal electrical wiring. It is something that the department has been working with Belize Electricity Limited to address and has been part of the fire safety campaign. Station Officer Kenneth Mortis gave an interview to the media on the response by firefighters to contain the blaze to only one structure.


Kenneth Mortis, Station Officer, National Fire Service

“On our arrival we observed a wooden structure fully engulfed in flames. Fire fighting operations commenced and we brought the fire under control before total extinguishment, thus confining the fiasco to one structure. We started the investigation which we learnt that a wooden sixteen by thirty-two structure that housed four family members was total. These four people were displaced as a result of the fire and the investigation reveals that the cause of this fire was as a result of illegal wiring or illegal connection, so to speak. This morning’s event was unfortunate whereby we see the recurrent cause for these illegal connections leading to a situation such as a fire which we all know what we enjoy today, we will not always enjoy tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is the case for this family. It is part of our statistics that we have always had concerns and have consulted with the B.E.L. team. Unfortunately, this is something that needs to be looked at more in-depth in terms of a, in my view, a community aspect to see what is in place for these families that either one cannot afford to legally electrify their houses or what can be done legally if needs be to these people who continuously put not only themselves or an entire neighbourhood at risk. This morning, we were fortunate that the fire was confined to one structure looking at the close proximity of the other buildings within the area. I believe our effectiveness in fire fighting was successful due to the fact that the early morning showers had just recently subsided, therefore the brunt of the morning raze hadn’t really settled in as yet and the day was a relatively calm morning. We had a full complement of about seven firefighters with two trucks and they did a wonderful job this morning. We had the standby firefighters who also played a role in trying to contain this fire. Those neighbourhood boys at the scene that assisted us in whatever way they did; I recognise you guys as well.”

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