BELIZE CITY, Fri. July 31, 2020– An investigation into a fire that completely destroyed a house on Wagner’s Lane that was occupied by 4 persons, and gutted a nearby house occupied by 5 persons, led police to a resident of West Street, Belize City — Shaniqua Peters, 21.
Peters was charged with 2 counts of arson and was arraigned at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday by Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford.
The charge was read to her, but no plea was taken from her because the charge is an indictable offense and must be tried at the Supreme Court after the magistrate has established that there is a case against her.
Peters was offered bail of $5,000 plus a surety of the same amount, which she was able to meet, and she was ordered to return to court on October 22.
The fire occurred on Monday night on Wagner’s Lane. Residents of the area told fire investigators that at about 7:30 Wednesday night, there was an argument between a man, a relative of the house owner who lives in the house which was destroyed by the fire, and a woman who lives elsewhere.
The woman soon left, and the man also left the house.
Shortly after, however, the same woman and two men returned and went behind the house, and shortly after they left, the neighbors saw the house become engulfed in flames. The house was owned by Sheryl Murillo, and she and her three children lived there. The neighbors could not positively identify the woman who had the argument with the man.
Due to the close proximity of the burning house to another house, which was occupied by Lancelot Flowers, who lived in the home with his 4 children, Flowers’ house was gutted.
The Belize Fire Service went to the scene of the blaze and put out the fire before it could have spread to the other surrounding houses.
Shortly afterward, Orin Smith, the station manager of the Belize City Fire Service, announced that the fire was a result of arson and that the blaze had been classified as incendiary.