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Dec 29, 2008

Fire on Victoria Street leaves two families homeless

Story PictureIn the second fire on Boxing Day, a two storey wooden structure located on Victoria Street in Belize City went up in flames leaving two families without a roof over their heads. News Five’s Duane Moody and cameraman Darrel Moguel were at the scene to find out more.

Duane Moody, Reporting
When the fire broke both families were away from their homes. The lower flat of the building was occupied by Derrick Gentle and the upper flat by Tania Forbes who says she lost all her belongings on Christmas Day.

Duane Moody
“Miss Forbes what happened”

Voice of Tania Forbes, Fire Victim
“Weh happen, weh I could understand I lef from yah di morning and I change my clothes and I gone wid my baby and I gone spen my time by my people dehn house. And when I gone ova fi my things dehn, by di time I come back dehn tell me dat my house di burn down. I come from ova and I come ova back dis side yah and dis dah weh I si.”

Duane Moody
“Miss Forbes, how do you feel about what occurred?”

Voice of Tania Forbes
“I feel bad because I no have noway fi go.”

Forbes’ common-law husband, Calvin Arzu, was returning home after work around eight-thirty p.m. and was flabbergasted when he saw what was left of his home. Arzu says that he had just rewired their home and B.E.L. was scheduled to install electricity.

Calvin Arzu, Fire Victim
“I mi deh da work and when I come from work I lef from work and dehn thing deh and I di come in through di alley I meet my neighbours dehn and thing by di alley but nobody neva did inform me or tell me dat di place burn down or any fire and dehn thing deh. When I reach dah back yah dah den I si di place burn down and dehn thing deh.”

Duane Moody
“By the time you reach, the whole place done burn?”

Calvin Arzu
“Di whole place done burn down and no smoke, everything done crumble already.”

Duane Moody
“What time was this?”

Calvin Arzu
“Dat dah mi bout eight-thirty, minutes to nine so when I reach yah because I lef from work eight o’clock. And I just finish get fi put my last into this place yah fi wire up dis place and dehn thing yoh know. B.E.L. she dat dehn neva mi wah come put it in until Monday; until Monday dehn mi wah come put in di light. I actually bare patience fi stay inna dark all through di holiday fi mek dis neva occur cause I neva want my money go to waste and dehn thing deh afta I spen pan dis and at di end ah di day dis dah still weh happen. I mi just finish struggle and buy my stuff and dehnthing deh and I lost everything weh I struggle fah because I no hang out and thing pan street. Everything weh I got dah weh I struggle fah inna life. Dis dah all weh I got on right yah. Dis dah all weh I stay wid right yah from Christmas til now. All mi clothes dehn still deh pan di line and dehn burn up and all dehn thing deh.”

Station Supervisor of the Fire Department, Kenneth Mortis says that the fire started from an extension cord that was feeding electricity from a neighbour’s house to the downstairs’ tenant. But unfortunately, it was the upper flat that was totally destroyed.

Kenneth Mortis, Training Officer, Nat’l Fire Service
“On arrival, we saw a two storey building with the upper portion of the building engulfed in flames. We extinguished the fire after which the investigation commenced. We discovered that the building was a two storey wooden structure which housed two families. Neither family was at home at the time of the fire and the entire building did not have electricity. It was discovered that the day before the fire the tenant from the lower flat received an electrical drop from his neighbour. After we inspected this electrical wire we found out that the wire was defrayed and charred. Hence, we believe that the cause of this fire was that of an electrical short which could have been negligent on the part of the tenant for the lower flat of the said building.”

Voice of Tania Forbes
“Anything I willing to take cause I dah wah person weh grow up inna the ghetto. We accept anything, anything, once dah help.”

If anyone would like to assist the family, you can contact Calvin Arzu or Tania Forbes at 627-1474.

Duane Moody, reporting 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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