Two Houses Destroyed in Lake I Fire

Two Houses Destroyed in Lake I Fire

A fire on Sunday morning consumed two houses in the Lake Independence Area. The fire broke out on Estella Metzgen Street. Fortunately, no one was injured. Several persons were displaced including Mark Burgess who says that firefighters could have done more to control the blaze. Hipolito Novelo reports. 

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: A massive plume of smoke, blanketing the skies over the Lake Independence Area of Belize City. A roaring inferno consuming the structure that once stood here- on Estela Metzgen Street, on Sunday morning.  Fortunately no one was injured. Fire fighters responded to the scene and battle the fire the best they could. Staion Manager Kenneth Mortis says the cause is electrical. 

Kenneth Mortis, Station Manager, National Fire Service: “This one wooden structure it was in the care of a local Belizean because the owner is in the US then the fire department was made to understand that the occupants of this particular building became squatters themselves they made comfortable in this home that wasn’t rightfully theirs. Again, the evidence showed that this building had the wiring coming directly from the BEL pole to their structure and then subdivided within the various rooms. It was another unfortunate Sunday afternoon, Sunday midmorning whereby again the electrical breakdown consumed this building and then created massive damage displacing two family members to the neiboring structure one Mr.Palacio who was the sole occupant of the upstairs structure and a lady Ms.Cruz and her ten year old minor they were the occupants of the lower flat.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: The building was destroyed, leaving the occupants displaced.

Kenneth Mortis, Station Manager, National Fire Service: These people were displaced by the fire and the building was owned by Mr.Mark Burgess so he himself sustained massive loss as a result of this fire Sunday morning.

Reporter: Was anybody injured in these fires ?

Kenneth Mortis, Station Manager, National Fire Service: “Fortunately no injuries were reported to the fire department and then I say fortunately because when we arrived on the scene we were told that just before the fire erupted into the massive inferno it did the occupants of the building were seen fleeing the building so fortunately nobody was hurt in this blaze.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: And the blaze while consuming the first structure, spread to the adjacent house belonging to Mark Burgess. He says that firefighters could have done more to control the blaze but that’s difficult especially given uncontrollable factors such as wind gust and wind direction.  

Kenneth Mortis, Station Manager, National Fire Service: “Our initial team made a defensive effort to the south of the current structure. The wind direction was blowing in a south easterly fashion so we had to do fire coverage exposure for that close building. It was in the blink of an eye that the breeze then turned direction and unfortunately that was when Mr.Burgess’ property caught fire. Strategic location is key on the initial stage and once we execute that and we have to relocate and readjust that’s where time consuming effort comes in. I understand Mr.Burgess’ complaint, I understand his concern. We do not control the element of the weather, we cannot respond to an emergency fire scene and tell the breeze be still, we don’t have that power to do so. All I can say is I am at a loss that he had to suffer the loss because of Sunday morning’s event.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: And the event, as terrible as it was could have been much more worse.. 

Kenneth Mortis, Station Manager, National Fire Service: “Right so it could have been a whole lot worse. In this kind of work you never want to walk away knowing that you lost more than what you actually responded to. We responded initially to one structure and we walked away losing two. It’s an unfortunate situation for the owner Mr.Burgess and it goes to show whereby our efforts as pleasing to some as it may seem will always be disturbing to others.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News: None of the buildings were insured. Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo. 

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