On May 9 a fire in Hattieville, Belize District completely burned down a house near mile 16. No one was injured during the fire and according to the National Fire Service, the house was connected to the power lines illegally. In speaking with the Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis, he told Love News that investigators visited the premises yesterday and shared with us the findings of their investigation.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “The fire started as a result of an electrical flaw or an electrical overload. This being the primary reason that the residents of the structure they were illegally tampering with the electricity from the BEL lamppost which in turn directly diverted to their house and in turn shared to the neighboring house. Luckily or not so luckily just prior to the fire couple of days, the tenant Mr.Dorian Garnett disconnected the shared extension chord from this house to his common-law wife’s house and unfortunately the said Saturday during the rain that we were experiencing Mr.Garnett’s house ignited into flames destroying his property and everything that he had owned. Normally when the fire department conducts an investigation which leads to an electrical flaw we always have our in-house certified electrician which is recognized by PUC. That gives us the fire department some sense of security and also gives us the comfort in relaying to the public at large whenever we say that a fire is as a result of an electrical flaw the fire men responding to these fires we’re not guessing what we’re saying we have backative to support our cause and our findings.”
Mortis noted that there weren’t any signs of arson and he also explained the dangers of trying to connect to a power source illegally to avoid paying for electricity.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “During the investigation that wasn’t revealed to us. It was revealed that a misunderstanding between himself and his common-law Ms.Julie Flowers, that Ms.Julie had threatened to burn down his house. However either of the two cases we did not find any evidence to support that the fire was a result of a malicious act which in terms of the law would be classified as arson. There was no findings, there was no supporting evidence it’s an unfortunate case that you might always want to blame somebody for your property being destroyed by fire unfortunately in this case that is not so. I would go out on a limb and say across the country believe that if I short change BEL in stealing their electricity to my house I might be saving my pocket a light bill expense but in the long run we all know the good old saying ‘Evey day the bucket goh da well one day it a go drop out.” So what happens is that I am getting direct electricity from the BEL main and I have nothing in between to break down this high amount of electricity going into my house so if for arguments sake it’s pushing 220 that’s exactly what I’m getting. We know that Hattiville over the past couple days prior to the fire they were experiencing some electrical short outs and this is a fully furnished house and every single electrical appliance in this house generates electricity, it was an unfortunate timing that Mr.Garnett suffered the loss that he lost to his property due to this abuse of electricity.”