General — 01 April 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
2 families, victims of fire, seek assistance

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar, 30, 2015 –Two families comprising 11 individuals have been displaced after their three houses were completely destroyed by a pine ridge bush fire, and are seeking public assistance to help them to rebuild their lives.

The houses – two owned by the Colinas family, comprised of 6 persons, and a third house owned by the Pop family, comprised of 5 persons – were destroyed at about 12:30 Friday afternoon in Silk Grass, and their collective loss has been estimated to be about $60,000.

The Colinas family said that their house was a 4-bedroom lumber house with a thatched roof, and their kitchen was made of pimento, also with a thatched roof. All their household belongings were destroyed.

The Pop family reported that their house was a 3-bedroom lumber house with corrugated roof, and, as was the case with the Colinas family, nothing was saved.

Both families said that apart from materials needed to rebuild, they are also accepting donations, including food and other necessities.

Angelo Pop, 31, who is a construction worker, told Amandala that he was not at home at the time of the fire, but was at the cohune walk, but when he returned home he found that his house had been destroyed by fire. His wife was at home alone, and she was assisted by one of the neighbors, but their efforts to save the house and their belongings were in vain.

Pop said that the cause of the fire was a pine ridge bush fire that was burning in the area, which ignited a pimento house in the yard, and the flames from the burning house ignited his house, and the fire was aided by a wind that was blowing the flames in the direction of his house.

Angelo Pop can be contacted at phone numbers 662-5578.

The Colinas told Amandala that their two houses were similarly destroyed by the pine ridge bush fire. Among their household items which were destroyed was a generator. The family can be contacted at phone number 661-3784.

The village chairman of Silk Grass said that when he was told about the fire, he went to battle the flames with fellow villagers, but despite their best efforts, the fire destroyed the properties. He alerted the Fire Service in Dangriga, but there was a delay in their arrival because they had to travel about 14 miles, and by the time they arrived, the houses had already been destroyed.

The chairman reported that he will lobby Government for a fire station to be built, equipped and manned at Silk Grass to cover the surrounding villages that must depend on the Dangriga Fire Service for assistance in times of fire emergency. He said that the distance from the Dangriga Fire Service to the villages is a factor that should be considered by Government.

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