General — 28 January 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego
Fires in San Roman, Stann Creek District, and Belize City

Two separate fires destroyed a house in San Roman in the Stann Creek District, and destroyed the interior of the upper flat of a two-flat house on Miller Street in Belize City. The fire in San Roman occurred at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, and the Miller Street fire was about 2:45 this afternoon.

Police said that they responded to reports of a house fire in San Roman, and on their arrival they saw a thatched house measuring about 20 by 15 feet engulfed in flames. The house and its contents were completely destroyed, and the cost of damages was estimated to be about $5,000.

The owner of the house, Magdalena Bou, 25, reported that she was cooking on a fire hearth in her house when the flames caught the dry walls and quickly spread out of control, and engulfed the house. The house was not insured.

Then, at about 2:30 this afternoon, neighbours of Philip Singh, a community outreach officer of the Belize City Council, saw flames coming out of the window of the upper flat of his two-flat split-level house on Miller Street in the Lake I area. They immediately alerted Singh’s domestic worker and a boy who were in the lower flat of the house, and quickly evacuated them.

The neighbors also carried out a forced removal of the butane tank, which was locked, to avoid an explosion in the house.

Everyone was already out of the house when firefighters arrived. They managed to confine the fire to the upper flat of the house, preventing much damage to the lower flat and the surrounding area.

The cause of that fire is yet unknown, but one of the rescuers, who assisted in evacuating the domestic worker and the boy, believes that it was due to an electrical fault. They reported that no one was in the upper flat at the time the fire began.

The estimated cost of the damages to the home is not yet known.

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