A fire broke out last night at around nine o’clock in the St Martin de Porres area in Belize City. It left four homes destroyed, seventeen persons homeless and a toddler dead. The fumes from the thick smoke was what alerted the Mckoy family who lived in one of the structures that were destroyed. Iselma McKoy spoke to Love News.
“Well it was terrible. When it first happened my husband woke me up and he told me that he smelled smoke and the smoke was getting stronger and stronger so he got up and ran out the house. When he ran out the house and I moved behind him but I was a little bit confused too because I didn’t know if I was to stay upstairs or go out although they were calling for me to come downstairs I was still standing there confused and I was looking out my window and I could see the fire blazing.”
Thomas Moreira and his girlfriend, Thelma Roberts are also victims in last night’s fire who lost everything. Moreira recounts last night’s events including the reported inefficiency of the fire truck.
“Well smelled pine from upstairs but when I smelled it at first it started coming more so I didn’t know what part of the house was burning so I woke her up and told her the house was on fire and I came outside but when I jumped down I ended up hurting my foot and I looked at the front of the house and it was just catching fire. I grabbed a bucket and started throwing water at it but we heard a kid in the house but we couldn’t get in the house because the more we got closer the smoke and fire just blazed up.”
“This is the house next to your one?”
“This is the house next to my one. The other house didn’t catch as yet so we were throwing water but the fire truck came and the officers started to tell us to get out of the yard due to the gas tank because one of the gas tanks blew up from out of the same yard. The other house didn’t catch; when the fire truck came there was no water. The guys were pulling a hose with no water in that truck so it just started to blaze. The other truck came they parked behind the other truck and the same thing happened, the truck was low on water, they had to go to the canal beside our house and it’s from there they sucked up mud and water and that is how they came to slow down the fire.”
While the seventeen family members are processing this disruption of normalcy, 20-year-old, Shanika Roberts is in mourning as her 2-year-old son, Tyreek perished in the blaze. Iselma McKoy is the child’s great-grandmother.
“I don’t know anything about the little boy; it’s my grandson because I was upstairs just going in a nap so I don’t know anything about the little boy. All I heard is when somebody came to say the little baby was in the house that is all.”
“Have you been able to speak to her in terms of what happened or how is it ?”
“We just feel distant because of what happened so we are not saying anything to each other due to the you know. We just keep a distance.”
“Were you close to your great grandson?”
“Yes. Close. Very close.”
“What can you tell me about the little boy what’s his name?”
“His name the little one that passed his name is Tyreke and the other one is Dominique. We were very close because he was just beginning to call my name nana and he was pointing towards the mango tree because anytime he calls for me he would point to the mango tree. He was a busy little boy, he would sweep out the house and everything, busy little boy. Just before dark was setting I looked off my veranda and saw him getting a little bike and started to peddle; I was wondering if he was afraid he was just peddling in the dark; a brave little boy.”
Last night’s blaze consumed two bungalow houses and one two storey structure. The victims are currently sheltering at the St Martin’s de Porres school. Fire officials are still investigating to determine the source of the fire.