An early morning fire engulfed and destroyed a home in the Gungulung area in Belize City, displacing a family of twelve. Owners, Kirk Davis and Luwina Garnett told us that the entire family woke up just in time to save their lives. Unfortunately, however, they were unable to save their personal belongings.
Kirk Davis: “We were awoken by thick smoke, the whole house fully engulfed in smoke and we tried our best to get out of the house. We couldn’t save anything, we couldn’t look for memories or anything, it is just a great loss. The household items and everything because everything we lost: I.D., certificate of achievements that the children had, everything.”
Dalila Ical: “Kirk Davis says the fire started around 1 o’clock this morning. The family has lost approximately $70,000 which includes a 45 x 35 ft wooden house and another 16 x 16 ft structure where his grandchildren slept. After all these years of hard labour my wife and I worked very hard to establish a family home.”
Dalila Ical: “Luina Garnett says they woke up just in time to save their lives.”
Luina Garnett: “When I ran downstairs because if you notice the step is this way and the fire is already on this wall coming from underneath the house and by the time all the panic and we reach out by the gate all I heard was my mother crying about where is my baby, where is my baby and he had to run backup in the house. Her room is way back there so he managed to get him, thank God.”
Kirk Davis: “This is all we have, this is the family right here. There is no other place to go, this is all we have. We worked very hard for this all these years.”
Luina Garnett: “You can’t lean on people now a days you know. We just have to make it back and see where we can move on from here because we lost everything.”
Dalila Ical: “Garnett’s daughter Virginia was not at home at the time but all her belongings were also destroyed. This morning parts of the structure continue to smoulder. Police report that the house had an illegal electrical connection but the family suspects it was no accident.”
Luina Garnett: “It has to be that someone set it because we are careful that these things don’t happen just like that so we will wait for the Fire Department to come and do their check and tell me exactly what the problem was before I make any noise of assume whatever.”
Dalila Ical: “A distraught Lavern Gordon mother to Luina and who also lived with the family fainted shortly after exiting the burning building. She preferred to comment off camera.”
Laverne Gordon: “I came out and I don’t know anything, not even when they took me to the hospital, I gone from myself. Who so ever do it to me and my daughter, everything is gone flat flat even too God.”
Dalila Ical: “The entire family: five adults, one sixteen year old and six children are left with only the clothes they had on when they rushed out the burning structures. For now they have to squeeze in to a small wooden shop they own located at the side of the road. Anyone wishing to assist can find them here.”
Kirk Davis: “You can come meet me right at the shop there at the foot of the bridge in the Gungulung: Ms. El Fruits and Vegetables. It is the yellow shop at the foot of the bridge. There is always somebody there.”
Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.