Fire destroys homes in Belize City

There was a Belize City Fire that destroyed two buildings. The fire started on the lower flat of a house at  No.20 Fredrick Alley.  The two story wooden structure is the property of Michael Rosado. The fire expanded and damaged another  two story structure belonging to 68 year old Agatha Gonzales. Police told us more.

ASP Alejandro Cowo, OC of NCIB: Both houses were extensively damaged and the cause of fire cannot be established at this moment. I know that the fire personnel are there trying to see if it was intended or if it was some kind of electrical that cause the fire on the Rosado residence that spread to the other house.

The fire was extinguished by personnel from the Belize National Fire Services. Station Officer at the National Fire Service, Orin Smith, told us what their investigation has revealed so far.

Orin Smith, National Fire Service: Preliminary investigation reveals that the fire occurred on the lower rear of that structure; the cause of which could not be determined. A credible ignition source could not be identified. With the information we gathered, yes the structure was unoccupied being with the owners being somewhere in Cancun we understand. However sometimes after firefighting activities during the night salvagers accessed the site and almost all electrical wires were removed so we could not determine whether it was electricity could have been a contributing factor. That happens quite a lot, more than we would like to have it actually. Copper seems to be a thing of choice and most people try to salvage what they can whenever they can from wherever they can to try and make a few bucks.

Residents of the area complained that the fire truck ran out of water quickly and that the hose was broken. One witness says that she believes that the  second home could have been saved if the fire service equipment was working properly. Smith responded to those statements.

Orin Smith, National Fire Service: This morning while I was on scene during investigation an individual says that the truck arrived empty. That has been a situation from my 18 yrs of service every fire that I’ve been at, or even those that I haven’t been at; that has been the cry. The concept is that when the truck arrives on the scene it should discharge and the endless supply of water which impractical. We only have one tank on the truck. The truck has a limited capacity and based on the amount of water you discharge per minute it is the time that tank of water will last. It can last anywhere from one minute to three minutes. The public does not understand that concept. They would believe that ten minutes is minimum that they except water to be discharged which is really not practical  unless we deliberately discharge at the very minimum with one branch, which by ten you’d end up with an entire block being lost. There’s never such a thing as a perfect response, there’s never such a thing as perfectness, basically everything. Yes, we did notice a number of hose discharging water. That is an issue we are working out internally, but as you mentioned hose can be damaged by a number of factors, vehicle riding over them, dragging over rough surfaces, being punctured at the fire scene from nails or other sharp objects which they are dragged over or rubbed against.

The fire truck had to source water from the nearest Canal on Daily Street.

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