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Dec 7, 2009

Immigration Dept. office catches fire at Complex building

Story PictureIn another fire in Belize City, the employees of the Immigration Department were threatened by a midmorning fire. The blaze originated from an exposed wire leading to an air condition unit. Luckily, it was caught on time and the employees were able to put it out before it could spread. Damages were minor and the good thing is that all documents, including passports, were safeguarded promptly.

Therese Chavarria, Senior Immigration Officer
“About ten-thirty a.m. this morning there was an alarm of a fire. Upon investigation I noticed that black smoke was coming from the investigation sections our Immigration Office. I managed to call officers who were calm and were able to use our drinking water and managed to out the fire. So far we have no damage of documents. I was able to secure our passports.”

Jose Sanchez
“The firemen probably out or wet some of the documents, were anything damaged after the firemen were here?”

Therese Chavarria
“So far, I’m not aware.”

Kenneth Mortis, Training Officer, National Fire Service
“We concluded this morning that the fire started as a short-out from an exposed wiring from the compressor that led to the AC unit inside the building. What happened, the exposed wiring made contact to wires and then from the compressor, it in turn sent it to the AC unit. Even though it wasn’t turned on, because the compressor has direct current, that was happened this morning inside this particular AC unit.”

Jose Sanchez
“Do you think that they should also take a check of the other AC units in the building?”

Kenneth Mortis
“They could. That would be a definite asset if they would do that. That way they could prevent any further damages like what happened this morning. Luckily for them, the damage was minor and the staff was aware of the fire in time. So you can pretty much say that they extinguished the fire and we only did the investigation.”

Keith Swift, Channel 7
“Could this have been much worse?”

Kenneth Mortis
“Yes it could have. If it wasn’t as busy as Immigration is, it could have been worse. We could have looked at probably floors, rooms, totalled—it could have been much, much worse.”

The total cost of the damage has not yet been determined.

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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