An early morning fire destroyed the home of a family of three in Belama phase four, Belize City on Monday morning. The fire department was able to contain the fire, but not in time to save the structure. Chief Fire Officer at the Belize Fire Department, Orin Smith, told the media that the fire was started by a power overload
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: On Monday 30th July, 2018 approximately 9:08am, the National Fire Service received and responded to reports of a structural fire in the Belama Phase 4 area of Belize City. On arrival on that scene, found was a 20 by 30 zinc structure elevated 3 feet off the ground that was destroyed by fire. The hotspots were extinguished by the National Fire Service. Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire originated as a result of an electrical overload that resulted in the destruction of that structure. There were no occupants found at the time the service arrived.
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: On Wednesday August 1st, at approximately 1:50pm the National Fire Service responded to reports of a structural fire incident in Belize City. On arrival on scene, found was a twenty by twenty eight wooden structure elevated approximately 5 feet off the ground, fully engulfed in flames. Following a brief size up, the crew into operation extinguishing the fire. The fire was later brought under control and extinguished. On the premises were two structures, the south structure (the wooden structure) was destroyed by fire. The front structure received fire damage to its eve, facial and two windows on its south face. Some degree of water damage occurred to the rooms on the south-side of the building. Investigation revealed that the fire originated from a sofa situated under the structure on the south-east side that eventually ignited the building and destroyed it.
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: Based on the security of the premise and at the time, there were adults at home and the yard we understand had children in it playing. We do not suspect any foul play. There were no easy way into the structure, except from the front gate. The fence were really high from the rear of the structure.
Reporter: Can you tell us if either of the two properties were insured, the one on Monday and the one on Wednesday.
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: None of them were insured.
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: I would like to appeal to parents, as school is closed, there will be a lot of young children out of school. Those who are not enrolled in any summer program will need to be closely supervised. ‘Parents it is not wise to have children play with matches, lighters, lighted candles as a means of becoming menu norm’. Time and time again, we’ve seen where structural fires occur as a result of these kids being unsupervised playing with these lighted tools. ‘Talk to the kids teach them that these tools are for adults to use, not for children to play with’
Reporter: Is it to say then that the second fire, the one on Friday may have been set by a child?
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: It appears that way.
Orin Smith, Station Officer – Belize National Fire Service: That fire was undetermined. We found that there could have been two possible means to the cause of that fire and without a scientific means to eliminate efficiently any of these causes.