There was a fire this morning at about 8:30 in Belize City, at 5751A Lizarraga Avenue, which is the property of Oscar Salazar. The house, which is a white two-story cement structure, was being rented at the time by Gilroy Usher, Jr., Kayla Palacio and their two children, ages 15 and 3.
Initial indications were that the fire was as a result of an electrical problem that was first noted from the night before. At the time of the fire, no one was at home, as the tenants had just left for work.
Fire officials were quick to put out the blaze and stop it from spreading beyond the second floor. While the second floor was extensively damaged, the first floor suffered mainly water damage. The damage, however, is estimated at around $70,000.
The fire began in one of the bedrooms on the western side of the upper flat of the building, according to fire officials.
Members of the National Fire Service told us that they noticed the fire from the main fire station on Cleghorn Street in Belize City, and immediately dispatched two of their fire trucks to the scene.
According to Benisford Matura, Operations Manager of the National Fire Service, the cause of the fire was indeed an electrical failure in an AC unit in one of the bedrooms; however, he explained that from the night before, they had been called to the address to deal with a small fire.
Matura said, “At approximately 9:35 p.m. [on Sunday], we got a call about a fire at the same location. Upon arrival, the occupier had already extinguished the fire, which was in the living room. Apparently, a lamp had short-circuited and it caused the fire. A check was done to the electrical box, and it showed that one of the breakers had tripped. Fire officials also checked the electrical strip that it was connected to. They then recommended that the tenants get an electrician to check the wiring of the house.”
Matura then told us that at approximately 8:28 this morning, they got a call through the Police Department informing them that there was a fire at the same house on Lizarraga Avenue.
He said, “Upon arrival, there was a split-level building on fire; [however], most of the fire was concentrated up in the roof and ceiling area. The fire officials then put out the fire. The main area was the bedroom on the western side of the building. After investigations and after locating the origin of the fire, it led to the said room that was on the western side of the building, and it was due to some electrical short in the AC unit that was in that room.”
Amandala understands that the house and its contents were insured.