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House Consumed by Fire in Belize City

Investigations continue into yesterday evening’s fire in Belize City. The blaze broke out sometime after five o’clock in the Yarbrough Area of Belize City. The National Fire Service jumped into action shortly after it received the call. Officer in Charge of the Belize District, Kenneth Mortis gave us an update on the investigation.

Kenneth Mortis, OIC, National Fire Service, Belize District: “We responded and on arrival we saw a wooden elevated structure engulfed in flames. We got into firefighting mode extinguishing that particular fire after which as per normal an investigation commenced into trying to determine ownership and the cause and the origin. We learnt that the building which was unoccupied at the time of the fire was being owned by Stanley Reneau, those football people may know him as Jordan. The building was unoccupied, it had no electricity. Fortunately our team managed to suppress the fire before the building was totally gutted. The structure remains, heavy damage was sustained to the building. We’ve learnt that the fire originated in the rear of the building which would make reference as the south eastern portion of the building near the sea. Due to the use of the building it wasn’t occupied we found the remains of what was a chair. We couldn’t find any other household furnishings within the building. An extensive and thorough search of the area was conducted to try to determine the cause. We can say that the cause was a malicious act by persons unknown and for whatever reasons unbeknownst to us. However a malicious act doesn’t always mean that you’re gonna use some sort of accelerant. Today day the building you’re in is the fuel load as is so there is no need for an accelerant to be used. The location where we noticed this fire started from was at the rear out of the view of the closest neighbor so that gave the perpetrators enough time to create their mischief and abandon the scene without being noticed.”

While the investigators feel that the intent was malicious, they are not ruling out the chance that it may be random individuals, who simply caused an accident.

Kenneth Mortis, OIC, National Fire Service, Belize District: “That’s a possibility. We’ve gathered that same information however I am gonna chose careful words because I don’t want to put my food in my mouth. I find it a bit strange to have an accident happen on the outside underneath of an elevated structure. If you had told me that or if my evidence had shown that an accident happened inside then I would have known where to look or how to summarize the cause. I have seen this type of work, I’ve been in this field for over twenty plus years, you know we’ve been taught where to look, how to look, how to meticulously dissect a building in terms of how to ascertain the area of origin and like I said my experience taught me from this fire that it started from the outside working its way on the inside. It can definitely be an accident but like I said it would definitely not be from the inside out, it’s definitely from the outside in. It does suggest malicious intent until proven otherwise.”

The fire was extinguished and no one was hurt.