Investigation Launched Into Belize City House Fire
The police and fire departments have launched an investigation into a fire that gutted a home last night in Belize City. The two-story wooden structure caught ablaze just after 10 o’clock on Mex Avenue. Fortunately, the flames were extinguished by fire personnel before they could have spread to nearby homes. Station Supervisor Kenneth Mortis explained that the department has yet to identify the structure’s owner. He says that the house was occupied by someone who may have information about the cause of the blaze.
Kenneth Mortis, Station Supervisor, National Fire Service: “What we did learn was one of the rooms located in the southeastern portion of the building where the fire reportedly started from had a single bed with mattress which showed that somebody was occupying the building even though we know the building was an abandoned building. At this time we cannot or we have not been able to identify who is the owner, whether the owner is alive or dead, whether he’s in the country or out of the country. So to speak, we can’t even identify who was the sole person occupying the building. Probably in the next couple of days that person will reveal himself as he will then try to get assistance from the other government agencies. How the fire started exactly has still not been determined as yet. Prematurely it shows signs that the occupant might have left something burning in the room, which fell and caught the mattress and fell, which in turn burned down the structure. So to speak, we weren’t really forthcoming with the neighbors they weren’t cooperating with us in terms of what they knew so we can put a closure to this particular fire. The fire department’s standard operating procedures is once there is a structural or house fire in progress regardless of the location of that fire two stations are always deployed simultaneously. One will always reach before the next but the protocol is we dispatch both stations. If a call is reported of a bush fire or a garbage dump fire that’s one truck and if it’s a RTA or a vehicle accident we dispatch one truck. Any other calls come into the fire department of an emergency, one truck is being deployed. Any call that says a house fire is in progress two units have been deployed. Fortunately for us the time of the night and firefighting tactic plays a key role with the weather. Last night was a relatively cool night when that fire car came in. We did not have to prematurely or initially set up an attack and reposition because the wind played a factor. We had a full complement of approximately nine men last night combined with two trucks. We were in our working mode, so to speak, we were in firefighting mode regardless of it being amidst the September celebrations. We know what we are here to do. We are here to provide an emergency service to the country and to the community and we try to do it as best as we possibly can. I will give recognition to the shift that worked last night. They did a tremendous job indeed. The secondary house could have gone up in flames. We were successful in containing not far to the one building.”
The value of the house is yet to be ascertained.