General — 20 June 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
Fire on Freedom Street destroys home

6 persons now homeless

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 18, 2018– Last week, reports that a fire had killed a woman and three children in San Pedro shook the Belizean community. It had definitely been one of the most horrific fires the country has ever seen.

On Saturday, June 16, another fire occurred, this time in Belize City. Calbert Estrada, 46, a resident of 1993 Freedom Street for about 14 or 15 years, told Amandala that around 4:00 or 5:00 in the evening, he, his common-law wife, his four children and their grandfather were all sitting outside their house in the yard when his wife sent one of the children into the house to get a cellphone.

When the child went back outside, she told them that a fire had started inside one of the rooms.

Estrada, who is a mechanic, said that when he went into the room, he saw that the mattress was on fire. He then tried to quell the fire by getting water from a pipe inside the house. However, due to the heat and smoke, he was forced to leave the house and all his belongings.

Yet, he still tried to get water from outside to battle the fire. Neighbors were also assisting him to put out the fire. According to him, someone had called The Fire Department, but he felt that too much time passed before they arrived at the scene, since they came about 30 minutes after the fire had begun.

Estrada said that the fire engulfed the house so quickly that he was not able to save anything. Currently, he, his common-law wife and their children are staying at the home of one of his wife’s relatives.

As of press time, there is no indication of what could have caused the fire. Estrada told us that he has not had electricity for a few days, so it could not have been caused by an outlet.

Though he could not give us an estimate of the value of the damages, Estrada mentioned that some of the equipment he uses for his profession as a mechanic had melted.

The fire department’s station manager, Orin Smith, said that, while they have not yet determined the cause of the fire, they know that it started on the right side of the headboard of a bed  in a bedroom on the east side of the house.

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