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Nov 13, 2012

Burn victim needs your help

Kevin Martinez

The following story is about a father of two who needs your help. Twenty-one year old Kevin Martinez has been recovering for months after suffering severe burns to his body. He endangered his own life to save his family and his belongings from a fire that started on a piece of furniture.  While he is now out of the woods, he has no income to provide for his daughters or to pay his bills at the hospital. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has that story.


Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Kevin Martinez, a father of two, suffered severe burns to his upper body when he took a risk to save his house and his daughters. Martinez says they were asleep when the sofa suddenly caught fire and his first instinct was to get the burning chair out of the house to keep the flames from spreading.


Kevin Martinez, Burn Victim

“I wake up and I si di sofa deh pan fire and I seh oh Lord, before ih burn up mi  daughters weh mi deh pan di bed and thing because ih mi di look fi go to di mattress and I di scream fi dehn fi wake up but di smoke got dehn di sleep. Look like dehn done inhale some smoke but luckily I wake up in time fi actually manage fi just move it out ah di room to di next spot because di sofa bun up front ah di door and we neva got no passage way out.  I neva did feel dat I get burn, I feel di heat like yeah, I feel hot. Den like wah three minutes afta, I si my skin start to come off and my right hand tek di shape like this. With my left hand I mi di try pry it open but ih neva want straighten out. I just mi deh right deh eena pain fi like ten-fifteen minutes until wah police mobile come and drop we.”


Delahnie Bain

“So how badly were you injured—well, we can see the ones on your chest but…”


Kevin Martinez

“Yes, dis dah second degree burns pan di whole front region yah den mi hand dah second degree burns. Dis one get real contracted, ih mi lef so. I think I have pictures from before the surgery. I tek wah surgery last week fi six thousand, five hundred dollars dah Orange Walk. Thanks to Dr. Miguel Quetzal and thanks to Dr. Gonzalez fi recommend me to ah.”


The incident was back on July twenty-eighth and while Martinez is now in recovery, he has been out of work and it will be months before he returns to his job. In the meantime, the medical expenses have fallen on his mother.


Kevin Martinez

“Right now my hand dehn deh so, actually dehn graft skin from di side ah me right yah so fi put on pan it because dehn had to cut it and stretch it out. so right now thank God my fingers dehn deh so, so right now dehn di go through wah healing process and in about three months time, tek therapy and I’m back to work.”


Delahnie Bain

“So for now you’re not working, how have you been handling the financial expenses?”


Kevin Martinez

“Well, thanks to Social Security but dat dah just wah lee help fi di month. But right now my ma di go through wah lee financial stress right now through the bank fi pay dah six thousand, five hundred dollars. and I really would ah want appeal to di public fi wah lee help and thing cause my ma dah single parent and ih di mind my bredda and sista weh di go through high school and my bredda di finish primary school right now so yeah.”


As for the cause of the fire, Martinez says the Fire Department explains that it was spontaneous combustion caused by heat and chemicals.


Kevin Martinez

“We noh know how dah fire start but fire man seh dat how air bubbles form eena di sofa and dehn seh dat how di sofa got ih own chemicals weh ih mek out ah—di sponge—and dehn seh di heat ah di house weh ih mi deh lock up, ih mi so hot, dehn seh dat how di fire just ignite pan ih own. Sound freaky but hmmm, thank God I wake up in time cause I just mi di sleep.”


Delahnie Bain for News Five.


To assist Martinez, you can call 622-8292 or make a deposit to Belize Bank account number 680-2-2-723.

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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4 Responses for “Burn victim needs your help”

  1. Storm says:

    Wow, what a story, and what an illustration of a parent’s love for his children. Let’s chip in to help this family.

  2. Hmnnn says:

    Dem fire officials sound like they gawn to Estradabran School.

  3. orangewalkenio says:

    mada mein…..if only ten thousand a di hundred thousand working men and women in belize would chip in a Dollar…just a dollar….den dis man could pay his bills and get through for a couple of months…..ay….I woulda really wa see ourselves organize and be able to do this…once in a while…where we all take an interest to do it…hope you get tru Martinez

  4. cecilia usher says:

    @Hmnnn – you crack me up …funny!!

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