Fire Service probes into Orange Walk fire, which cost a golden citizen her home
Yesterday, we told you about the fire that gutted the home of 61-year-old Bernadette Allen. Her grandson, 26-year-old Barkley Allen, a man described as someone who suffers from mental illness, is reported to have caused the fire. In speaking about the investigations by the National Fire Service, Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis was asked whether there were any specific substances or materials, which triggered the blaze.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “It’s hard to say what was used because everything around you is an accelerant, everything around you is a fire load. You can basically set a piece of cloth so to speak. The team didn’t find any substance that led to a liquid accelerant so we’re of the point that he used his ingenuity to set this place ablaze. It’s amazing that the woman managed to come out with her life. We’ve been told that he’s under the police care and exactly how they decide to treat this matter then that will be a legal aspect of the end results of this case.”
As we noted, the entire structure was gutted and burned to the ground. Mortis says that he was truly happy that the grandmother was able to make it out alive.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “As per normal we received a call for a structural fire and we weren’t prepared to hear that somebody was trapped. When we arrived on the scene that was when we were made to become knowledgeable of someone being in the building. Our attack mode then went from defensive firefighting to interior fire fighting. Forcible entry was made and the woman was extricated and the fire was extinguished before further damages could have been done to nearby structures. It was a windy morning and that would have been the only challenging factor for that inferno because the wind direction played a key role in tossing about. We had to redirect our defensive line and what have you. However at the end of the day we were fortunate and lucky enough to contain the fire to that one structure. The entire structure was gutted. She lost everything. She basically now has to start from scratch and I believe it’s a horrendous ordeal, not one that you want to wake up to. This wasn’t a midday fire, this wasn’t an early morning fire this was a fire whereby she was asleep and you know sleeping and waking up to find your house on fire I can only believe is frightening. I am trusting and hoping that she has other family members who can assist in trying to get her life back to normalcy.”
Yesterday, Area Representative for Orange Walk East, Kevin Bernard indicated that he would assist Allen and her family.