Gas Leak Takes Down a City Landmark Structure

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Updated: December 6, 2016

On Sunday, November 27, the country, especially Belize City residents, were shocked when it was learned that Chateau Caribbean Hotel was destroyed by fire. After more than a week of investigation, Love News has confirmed the cause of the fire. Station Manager for the National Fire Service, Oren Smith, told Love News that there was a gas leak which caused an explosion near the kitchen which eventually grew into an inferno that destroyed the iconic building.

OREN SMITH

“The investigation has concluded, the outcome of that investigation revealed that the fire was as a result of a gas leak on one of the main gas lines that fed the high pressure burner within the kitchen.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“Where was the kitchen located?”

OREN SMITH

“This was on the third storey or the second floor of that building on the north east of the wooden section.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“Did the investigation reveal that employees there were smelling gas? What do you believe happened I mean if it was a gas leak wouldn’t they have smelled it?”

OREN SMITH

“Normally yeah they should have however there was just two cooks in the kitchen at that time doing some preparation for catering when all of a sudden they heard an explosion and the fire erupted. They tried to put it out using an extinguisher and water but to no avail. Based on the nature of how the stove operates and the quick flame that flared up the extinguisher would not have helped if the the gas was not turned off, it would just spurt out a lot of flames and because the gas line was actually coming through the wall behind the wall itself the individuals within the kitchen were basically extinguishing the flames and not the main point where the fire came from.”

The building itself is a historic part of Belize City and Mayor Darrell Bradley, spoke about the importance of the building.

OREN SMITH

The building was insured but the value of what was destroyed has not been ascertained.