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House destroyed by early morning fire, arson suspected

A fire early on Saturday morning completely destroyed a house in Belize City. 37-year-old Patricia Flowers told Police she left her home on Zacaranda Street just before six o’clock on Friday evening. Flowers said sometime around two o’clock on Saturday morning someone called to tell her that her house was on fire. Orin Smith, Station Officer at the National Fire Service updated the media.

Orin Smith – Station Officer, National Fire Service
“The investigation revealed that the fire originated in the north structure. In that area there were some padded chairs and a fridge, electrical wiring in that area did not reveal any evidence of an electrical fault and as a result the fire is classified as incendiary in nature. The structure was not insured nor were the contents. We understand no one was at the home at the time the fire occurred. There was a family of four residing on the upper floor, two adults and two minors and the owner of the structure resides in the US. That is where we are at this point.”

“Now you said that because the fire was incendiary does this then mean that an accelerant was used or can you explain why it is that you can’t say for certain if an accelerant was used in this case?”

Orin Smith – Station Officer, National Fire Service
“I cannot verify whether an accelerant was used because the flooring was covered with marley; marley is already hydrocarbon based and when that burns it will release the smell of an accelerant so that would not be something that would be adequate to rely on. However a fire does need heat, fuel and oxygen to burn and the only natural heat source in that area was the electrical installation and an examination of that did not reveal any evidence of an electrical fault.”

“ So you don’t know how the fire started is pretty much what you are saying?

Orin Smith – Station Officer, National Fire Service
“Pretty much, but no fire can start by itself unless it self-combusts and no material in that house that was listed to us is known for self-combustion.”

The wooden structure and all its contents were destroyed. Neither the house nor the contents were insured.