A Belize City family of four is forced to rebuild from scratch after most of their possessions were charred in a midday house fire in Belize City. Reporter Vejea Alvarez was on the scene and spoke to the distraught victim. Here is his report.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Shortly after one o’clock on Tuesday afternoon a fire broke out at a home on Green Street in Belama Phase 4. The belligerent blaze sent a plume of smoke into the air and the residents of the two storey wooden and zinc house scrambled to salvage their belongings. 31-year-old Cassandra Sutherland says she was outside when she heard a loud bang and moments after she noticed flames coming from the upper portion of the home.
Kasandra Sutherland, Fire Victim: “I sat down in my yard. Sat down and had a conversation with my sister and my sister just told me ‘Fire’ and I told her ‘Sister please try help me out it.’ Whiching I was trying to out it and I don’t have water in my house so I was trying to use the vat to out it. My neighbor was trying to help, everybody was trying to help but the fire was already out of proportion already.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Sutherland says she lost almost everything in the blaze but fortunately she and her five year old son were able to escape unharmed despite running back into the burning building to save a few things.
Kasandra Sutherland, Fire Victim: “Everything was falling. Glass was falling. The boards were falling from upstairs so it was like I had to try to miss but I couldn’t do it by myself because I was only here by myself whiching my sister is and my sister is bigger than me whiching it was only me trying to get. I only got two suitcases, one gas tank and one machine.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The fire consumed the entire two storey house despite the best efforts and rapid response of fire fighters along with the police. And while the cause of the fire is yet to be determined Sutherland says she doesn’t believe at this point that it was due to an electrical flaw or a malicious act.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: How would you describe the reaction from the firefighters ?
Kasandra Sutherland, Fire Victim: “They reacted. They reacted but I couldn’t save anything it was too late. It was too late.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Do you have any idea at this point how the fire could have started ?
Kasandra Sutherland, Fire Victim: “I sat down downstairs, the fire started from upstair and I don’t have anything in my house that could start an electrical fire or nothing like that. Nothing.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: So at this point you think it may be a malicious act ?
Kasandra Sutherland, Fire Victim: “Whiching I can’t point fingers but I don’t really know what happened you understand me ? It’s a shock to me. A real shock to me.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The heartbroken mother says her partner, her 5-year-old son and 25-year-old stepson have been living at the home for the past four years. And the pain of losing all their belongings cuts deep however she will simply have to begin from scratch with the help of good Samaritans who may be willing to donate.
Kasandra Sutherland, Fire Victim: “To try to work back on everything. It won’t come back in seconds but still try. With the help from everybody.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News:If you are willing and able to donate to Sutherland you can reach her at 630-0424.