Fire Officials Say Fire Was Set on Mahogany Street House

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Updated: June 17, 2015

Last night we brought you the story of Dixie Wagner and his wife who lost their belongings in a fire last Thursday night on Mahogany Street. The couple had been renting the lower flat of the two storey structure for almost eighteen months when the incident occurred.  We spoke with the Station Officer of the Belize Fire Department, Oren Smith, who gave us a summary of the incident.

OREN SMITHOren Smith

“On Thursday the 11th of June 2015 at approximately 11:31, the National Fire Service received and had responded to the call of a structural fire at #16 Mahogany Street in the Brown’s Butane area address, Belize City. On arrival on scene, heavy smoke and fire was seen coming out of the lower flat of a two-storey structure having a concrete lower flat and wooden upper flat. Following a brief size up, the Fire Department immediately got into operation, the fire was later brought under control and extinguished. Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire originated on a bed in an unoccupied room on the north west section of the lower flat. The upper flat despite the fact that it is wooden and the flooring between the lower and upper flat were wooden the fire was contained to the lower flat. I must add that during firefighting operations some members of the operation staff received electrical shock during firefighting operation to contain the fire.”

The couple also told Love News that they are yet to receive reports from the Fire Service as to what caused the blaze … but according to Smith, the fire scene was tampered with and thus the cause of the fire remains undetermined but they have ruled out electrical causes.

OREN SMITH

“After the fire was extinguished the occupant of the lower flat was asked to leave the area of origin undisturbed so that an in-depth investigation can commence earlier on the following day. However on our return early on the following day we had found that the scene had been overhauled. Due to the fact that it had been disturbed an in-depth investigation could not continue into the cause of the fire itself. What we had observed is that the room had no electrical devices in the area of origin, the only outlet in close proximity to the bed when examined closely showed no fault of an electrical shortage. For a fire to have originated on the bed three factors needed to be drawn together, fuel which is anything that would burn, oxygen and a heat source. For a heat source to had been on the bed to ignite the fire it had to be brought there by some means or another. However it cannot  be determined whether the fire was intentional or an accidental fire at this point.”mahogany st house 2

Smith also mentioned that until the report is concluded, Wagner would not be able to get the report he needs to get his passport and nationality documents replaced.

OREN SMITH 3

“Reports of this nature need to be concluded based on the outcome of the investigation and the investigation has not been concluded so therefore the little information that we have is now what we will put into the investigative report on the fire itself. He had come the following day requesting the fire report and the investigation had not been concluded as yet so the report could not have been done at that time. Sometime in this week he should be able to get that report.”

It is to be noted that the fire fighters who were injured at the scene are in good health.