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Feb 28, 2011

Hostel girls burn the roof over their heads

A fire at the Belize Youth Hostel at mile twenty-one on the Western Highway late Saturday evening totally destroyed the female dorm of the facility. One of the employees, Mary Rivera, told police that she was supervising the group of girls when she smelled smoke.  When she checked the building she detected fire coming from the attic in the bathroom.  Although attempts were made to extinguish the blaze, it was too late and everything was lost. Worst yet, one of the girls has reportedly confessed to starting the fire.  Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

You might remember the ceremony back in April of 2007 when the newly renovated dormitories at the Belize Youth Hostel were opened after a two hundred thousand-dollar investment.

This is how the girls’ dorm looks today after a fire left the seventeen teenaged residents displaced after it totally destroyed their living quarters and all its contents.  The blaze erupted shortly after six on Saturday evening and police are looking at the possibility that it might have been the result of a conspiracy among a group of the female residents smoking marijuana in the bathroom.  But fire officials have not concluded their investigations and all that they can confirm is that the fire started in that location.  Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department, Starla Bradley-Acosta, says at present the girls are staying at a nearby compound.

Starla Bradley-Acosta

Starla Bradley-Acosta, Dir., Community Rehabilitation Dept.

“For right now we are thankful for our neighbors, the National Youth Cadet Corp, they are assisting us with one of their buildings and so the girls are placed there for the interim period. We are in the process of looking at rebuilding the facility. We’re still not quite sure what caused the fire and we are still waiting for the fire department to complete their investigation and submit their final report.”

But the police report issued today states that it was one of the girls who placed a bed sheet in the man hole of the attic and lit it, and that a fifteen year-old has since confessed to setting the building on fire.  An act of arson, even by a minor, could mean many years in lockdown.

Starla Bradley-Acosta

“If it was arson, we plan to hand it over to the police so that the matter can be dealt with to the fullest extent.”

Marion Ali

“So one of the girls could be charged?”

Starla Bradley-Acosta

“Quite possibly, if that is the case. If it is ruled arson, then the police will do their investigation.  Whenever anyone commits an offence, they have to be held accountable and this is a serious, serious, serious matter that we are not taking lightly at all.   It’s just by mother nature’s doing that the male dormitory as you can see which is very near wasn’t engulfed as well because had the wind be blowing in the other direction, I don’t think we would have the male dorm either. But thankfully, no one was hurt. All seventeen female residents and the supervisor who were with them got out safely. They weren’t able to safe much of anything, but like I said, we are thankful that no one was hurt.”

While the female residents and their supervisor escaped unscathed, the future of the facility looks promising because the Inter-American Development Bank recently granted new funding for more infrastructure at the compound.

Starla Bradley-Acosta

“We will be replacing this dormitory and for now, the girls are staying over at the cadet just during the night time and then they come back over and we will look at a temporary structure over here very soon.”

Marion Ali

“Are there enough beds, stoves, appliances?”

Starla Bradley-Acosta

“Our ministry was able to mobilize beds yesterday so we have enough beds, but at this point—well they are cots really—we will have to replace the actually bunk beds and mattresses. The girls were able to only escape with just the clothing that they were wearing so we will have to find clothing for them and some of the equipment and stuff will have to be replaced, certainly.”

The investigations to determine the exact cause of the blaze are expected to be completed by Tuesday evening.  Reporting for News Five, I am Marion Ali.

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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10 Responses for “Hostel girls burn the roof over their heads”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    PURE INSANITY…………..plain and simple.

  2. Disgusted! says:

    Girls Gone Wild!!! or should I say Wilder? Everybody knows the type of “Hallary” that are housed at the hostel and it is elementary that they should have been under strict 24 hours supervision. If the place is so secure, how the “!@@$” did they get weed in the first place and where was the supervisor that she/he didn’t smell the aroma of marijuana burning inside such a small, enclosed area??? Another failed hustling scheme. Serves them just fricking right!!! Maybe Kim Barrow should take all the girls to live in the big mansion since she is the ambassador for women and youth issues.

  3. louisville,ky says:

    Disgusted, you are not making any sense or offering any practical solutions whatsoever! If inmates on lockdown at the penitentiary get to smuggle drugs inside, why are you acting so surprised that with at best minimum supervision these so called hallary won’t be able to do the same?
    Maybe things will turn around for the better in my once beloved homeland when we start to hold these delinquent youngsters responsible for their actions.
    Now you want Mrs. Barrow to accomodated them in HER, home. Ain’t that a ….itch!!

  4. EMS says:

    Based on my many years of experience, working with troubled youth male/female these sort of incidients do happen no matter how much supervision is in place. It is a very unfortunate and sad situation that this happened, however these are the signs of the times and society we are living in. Many times these youths are victims of neglect, abuse and abandonment, furthermore there is much psychological, spiritual and emotional issues in our our society, clear and simple, society must continue to reach out to these very troubled youth. It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the batch.

  5. spanglish says:

    these girls want a good tabran whipping, dammit, they are given all the possible help to restore their live and they mess it up. I always say its about parenting

  6. Disgusted! says:

    louisville, Ky, the last part of my comment was intended sarcasm and besided, I AM FREE TO EXPRESS MY OPINION AS I SEE FIT. iF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T READ IT!!!!! THANK YOU!!!

  7. Clifford says:

    The girls might could do better if they were sent to a whore house or something, since they don’t seem to be responsible for their actions. Why would they do such a thing, they have good house and beds, and of course good food!

  8. BZNinCALI says:

    Did the 15 year old set the fire because the others refused to share or did they steal her stash? A 15 year old who is a “hallary” is a product of her environment. Last week, Mr, Okeke justified sex with a 12 year old. We cannot continue to look the other way when grown men screw our daughters then blame them for acting out.

    Why don’t we use the “tambrand” whip on the adults who failed them first?

  9. Sorry says:

    What the sense of having a hostel and drugs are still smugling in? Where is the security?

  10. The People Had Enough says:

    Yep, am starting to agree with the Illuminati about reducing world population to around 500,000,000. Seriously, i try hard but to be honest a lot of humans are just useless. How in the name of Allah can you burn down the building that is housing you?

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