General — 24 February 2018 — by Albert J. Ciego
2 houses destroyed by fire in Frederick Alley

5 persons now homeless

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 22, 2018–  Two timber houses in Frederick Alley, Belize City, both two-flat structures, were destroyed by fire at about 7:30 last night. The owners of one of the homes, Michael Rosado and his wife, were away in Mexico when a fire erupted from within their house. The other house, which was next to the Rosados’ house, was occupied by its owner, Agatha Gonzalez, and two others. They lived on the upper flat, while the downstairs flat was used as a kitchen.

In total, five persons were rendered homeless after the fire. Gonzalez told us that nothing was saved. No injuries were reported.

On our visit to the scene this morning, Chadrick Tingling, who lives in the yard behind the house where Rosado lived, told us that he was alerted by his girlfriend who was at home at the time the fire broke out, that flames were coming out of Rosado’s house. He quickly went home and on his arrival he saw that his neighbor’s house was engulfed in flames. He said that firemen battled the fire for about 4 hours before they were able to put it out. Tingling said that the roof of Rosado’s house fell in, and this made it more difficult for the firemen to get at the flames.

Tingling said that shortly after it was declared that the fire had been outed, he was alerted by neighbors that it had started again. He quickly called some friends in the neighborhood and they formed a bucket brigade. He said that nothing inside the houses was saved, because the houses were made of pine and they were old, so they burned quickly.

Police said that when they arrived at Frederick Alley they saw a 40 ft. by 40 ft. two-storey lumber house, the property of Michael Rosado, totally engulfed in flames. The fire expanded and damaged another 40 ft. by 40 ft. two-storey house, belonging to Agatha Gonzalez, 63.

Agatha Gonzalez’s house was not insured. No contact has been made with the Rosados to inform them of the fate of their house. It is not known whether their structure and its contents were insured. The value of the damages caused by the fire has not yet been determined.

On our arrival on the scene this morning, we saw fire investigators sifting through the rubble for clues as to what may have caused the fire. During a press brief held this evening at the National Fire Service Headquarters, here in the city, Orin Smith, the Station Supervisor, said that the cause of the blaze is yet undetermined.

Agatha Gonzalez is seeking public assistance to rebuild her house. Members of the public who would like to make donations to help her can reach her at 615-3805, or they can meet her at her property on Frederick Alley.

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