Multiple Structures Caught in Sunday Morning Fire

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Updated: November 7, 2016

Early Sunday morning the fire officials were again called out to extinguish a blaze that caused damages to three structures on the north side of Belize City.  Ingrid Fernandez followed the story today and shared this report.

INGRID FERNANDEZ REPORTING

“Just two days after a fire left a family homeless on First Street in the Kings Park area, another blaze ignited and fire officials were once again summoned.  On Sunday morning around four thirty fire officials responded to Castle Street in Belize City where they encountered a twenty by twenty two-storey wooden structure being gutted by fire, subsequently spreading to two adjacent cement houses which were partially destroyed. Two of the houses were residential homes while the other building was a Salvation Army Church. Love News visited the scene this morning and we spoke with the owner of one of the destroyed buildings, Luis Barcelona Senior; he spoke of how it all unfolded that morning.”

LUIS BARCELONA SR

“We’re not sure what time it started but what woke us up in our sleep we heard a cracking noise and we woke up we saw the house next door to us was on fire. We jumped up out of our house and took our kids and got out of the house. I’m not sure what time it started but we ran out of the house about 4:30 in the morning. I couldn’t think about anything else except grabbing the children and getting out, the power was still on, the electricity was still on and it as sparking so we had to run out of the house with the children.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ

“How many children were in the house?”

LUIS BARCELONA SR

“It was three of them and two adults.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ

“You managed to take out all of the children?”

LUIS BARCELONA SR

“Yes.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ

“What happened afterwards?”

LUIS BARCELONA SR

“Well we stood up and watched the house on the next side catch fire, and then it came over to our side. It took a while for the firemen to get here but I’m not here to bash anyone. They did what they could with what they had and thankfully the whole house did not burn down, they out it in time.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ REPORTING

“Fire officials have declared the blaze as an incendiary fire but police are yet to classify the incident as an arson investigation.  It is a case that raises suspicion as the fire victim noted that she was locked inside the house and had to find another way out when the fire started.  Oren Smith of the National Fire Service spoke to us on their preliminary findings.”

OREN SMITH

“On arrival on the scene we found the wooden 20 by 24 structure fully engulfed in flames. The national fire service got into operation to extinguish the fire. The fire originated on the wooden structure on the Southwest section of that structure. The fire is classified as incendiary in nature.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“There are allegations that the wooden structure was locked from the outside …”

OREN SMITH

“According to the occupant yes, they tried to get out via the door but it was jammed and it wouldn’t open so they came out through a side window.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ REPORTING

“Kayla Reynolds, mother of two lived in the wooden house; she and her two children were at home sleeping when the fire began.  Assistant Superintendent of Police and Acting Officer in Command of the Precinct Three Police Station, Anaseli Petillo told us what Reynolds reported to the police.”

ANACELI PETILLO

“Kayla Reynolds reported that on the said date at 4:30 she was inside her residence along with her two children when she was awoken by the smell of smoke and noticed that the inside of her house was on fire so she got herself and her children outside to safety.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ REPORTING

“With the number of buildings affected the lost to property was substantial. ASP Petillo tells us how much was lost as none of the buildings were insured.”

ANACELI PETILLO

“Approximate value of the damages was $180,000. Also seen damage by the fire was a black in color Jaguar vehicle which had damages to the right front headlight and bumper area and the value of the damages is unknown at this time.”

INGRID FERNANDEZ REPORTING

“Ten persons were left displaced as a result of the fire on Castle Street. Fortunately all affected families managed to come out of their houses in time and no one was hurt in the incident. ASP Petillo stated that if a person is found guilty of intentionally causing the fire, he or she could face up to life imprisonment.”