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Dec 2, 2009

Baldwin family home gutted in fire

Shortly before ten this morning a fire erupted at a wooden bungalow at the corner of Magazine Road and Ebony Street. By the time the fire department could get to the scene, the fire spread quickly and destroyed the entire building and its contents. No one was at the Baldwin Family home at the time of the fire. News Five’s Jose Sanchez found out that the cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
The wooden bungalow located at the corner of Ebony Street and Magazine Road was completely gutted by a blaze. Dean Baldwin was coming in from Caye Caulker this morning when he saw the smoke in the horizon. He found out soon after that it was his mother’s home.

Dean Baldwin, Son of Fire Victim
“We saw a blaze of smoke on our way in, in the harbour. So he probably said roughly a little joke just to say ah it looks like smoke. So I said alright I’m going to license my boat today I said to him the words “I hope it’s not my mom’s house”. I got to North Front Street and a friend who knows me very good and knows my family; my sister, my mom, my dad everybody. he looked at me and told me mom house burned down so momentarily I stuttered for a while but I jumped right back in boat, took off, went to my yard and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I broke down in tears.”

According to Fire Department’s Training Officer, Kenneth Mortis, the department responded within two minutes of receiving the call about the fire.

Kenneth Mortis, Training Officer, Fire Department
“Neither of the occupants were at home at the time, both kids were at school and according to Ms. Baldwin, she had just stepped out probably half an hour before the fire started. We learnt that the building nor contents were insured from this fire and we concluded that the fire started from the main entrance to the building, which would have been the living room area. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot say exactly how the fire started.”

Jose Sanchez
“So no idea if any appliances were left on, nothing to give you a clue.”

Kenneth Mortis
“We did the basic check in our electrical findings and we cannot support an electrical flaw. We do know that there was no cooking being done, we do know that no electrical appliances were left one. But like I said, we have a team out there at this moment still trying to determine the cause of this morning’s fire.”

The building was the home to three generations of the Baldwin family. Fifty-four year old Althea, was too distraught to speak, but her children said decades of memories went up in smoke.

Shana Hemsley, Fire Victim
“She’s not doing too good right now. That’s why she can’t come and talk; she’s really taking it hard you know. This is the first in our family and it’s just a sad situation. Everything was lost, not even a pot was saved. The kids—I have my little brother and little sister that goes to high school and they lost their books, uniform and everything. Even her work uniform is burned. It’s just so sad.”

Dean Baldwin
“I would just like to say no worry moms, we wah put back your house.”

Jose Sanchez
“How many years of memories you have in that home?”

Dean Baldwin
“Thirty. My mom raised seven of us and she did good. I have dad who was a fisherman and he helped as best as he could. That’s at least thirty years of her life gone right deh and all di memories from her wedding, her gifts; everything. Me and my sister, my dad, her family put together… gone. I wah put back your house ma, cold talk.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

If anyone would like to assist Miss Baldwin go get back on her feet, you can reach her at 666-2317.

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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