Residents of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are in shock after an early morning fire proved fatal. Reporter Johnelle McKenzie was on the island and has the story.
Tragedy struck this morning as four members of a family perished in a fire that broke out in the Escalante Subdivision of San Pedro Town. Two families occupied the wooden and concrete structure that caught fire just before three o’clock. Clara Bacab and her two children, 14 year old Alan and six year old Mia Nunez along with her niece 16 year old Sherilee Bacab died in the fire while her common law husband David Nunez and son Shamir Nunez managed to escape. The father and son were injured and were flown off the island for further treatment. Louigi Chable who occupied the lower flat with his family told Love News that his family managed to escape unhurt.
Louigi Chable, fire victim: “I left at two in the morning to work like I do everyday. About forty five minutes later I received a call from my wife telling me that the house was on fire. When I came back my wife was inside with my kids so I managed to break the back window to get them out. We took them out and I couldn’t do anything for the lady- we tried our best. The house was already engulfed and we couldn’t do anything for them. The only ones that could escape were the owner his biggest son and his wife and his other kids stayed inside their room trapped in the fire. All the neighbors we tried to help them to out the fire but it was too late. Everybody was trying to take some buckets and some hoses to help them with some water.”
Reporter: By the time you returned home the fire truck was there too?
Louigi Chable, fire victim: “Well at the moment that I arrived the fire truck was here but like I said they only did one pump and they left and there was no more water and in half an hour they returned with some more water.”
Superintendent Henry Jamot, officer in charge of the San Pedro Police Station told the media that a total of three buildings were destroyed.
Henry Jamot, Officer in Charge San Pedro Police Station: “This morning at around three fifteen thereabout police were called out to the area of Escalante in San Pedro Town. We received information of a house fire. Upon police making checks in the area they noticed one building engulfed in fire and another almost engulfed as well. Police then called the fire department and then they proceeded to escalante where they started to operate to extinguish the fire in the area. Three buildings sustained fire damages, we know the main building and another that was beside it was totally engulfed in flames and everything was destroyed. Persons, some of the persons managed to escape unhurt. We have two persons that have burn injuries and other injuries and four people lost their lives here today.”
A joint press release from the San Pedro Town Council, Belize Red Cross and NEMO said that UNICEF will be providing psychosocial care to the affected families as well as students from the schools the children who perished from the fire attended. For it’s part NEMO will be providing housing and the food bank at Hope Haven will be providing the affected families with food.
The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross will be hosting a radiothon and dollar drive on Friday to assist the victims. San Pedranos are encouraged to be a part of the event.