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Fire guts Pre-school in Hopkins

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire, which left significant damage to Holy Family RC Pre-School in Hopkins Village, Stann Creek. Police say they responded to the scene at around nine-thirty last night and that’s when they found the blaze mostly inside the wooden structure. Stann Creek Correspondent, Harry Arzu spoke to the pre-school’s principal Barbara Nunez.

Barbara Nunez, Principal Holy Family RC Pre-School: “Honestly, we’re not sure yet but it’s like the first responders, the people who got their first, they said they found a leaf through one of the windows and they thought that it was lit by somebody. Like a coconut leaf, so it was long right? Part of it in the building and part of it outside but apparently it was lit and that started it. It’s the building on the northern side, the northern side of it. The northern side of the yard, right, for the preschool because the preschool has two buildings in the yard and it was totalled. The interior got totalled but the building, it was still there like you know. It never got burned but the windows, because we have some aluminium louvres that got damaged and then the interior like shelves, chairs, tables, everything was totally destroyed. The Vice Principal was there. He was among the first set of people there. He said he got there like around 9:30 and that’s when he said he saw the leaf, the coconut leaf, through the window. They removed it and the neighbours started to find buckets and just started to extinguish with the water from the school yard so when the fire engine arrived it was pretty much contained. They already extinguished the fire properly only that they did do a little bit of spraying to just out the big flames that were still there burning.”

Reporter: Are you thinking that this might have been a mischievous act? 

Barbara Nunez, Principal Holy Family RC Pre-School: “I’m thinking that, exactly that.”

Reporter: Why would somebody want to do such a thing to a preschool where children go to?Barbara Nunez, Principal Holy Family RC Pre-School: “I wish I knew the answer to that.”

Police say that the blaze was extinguished, thanks to the efforts of the community. The building was uninsured.