An early morning fire in Belize City on Monday has left several persons homeless.  Sometime around six o’clock, personnel from the National Fire Service were called out to Handyside Street where they met a towering inferno.  According to a resident who lived in one of three houses destroyed during the blaze, he was alerted by a friend who informed him that the building was up in smoke.  Despite rapid response, the fire department failed to contain the massive inferno which eviscerated several buildings, including Fenders Nightclub, a landmark in the area.  This morning, Station Manager Orin Smith told the media that the teams of firemen deployed to the scene experienced difficulty replenishing their supplies of water.

Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“The National Fire Service received and responded to a call of a structural fire at a number thirty-seven Handyside Street, Belize City address.  Two units were immediately dispatched to that location.  On arrival on scene the upper flat of a two-storey wooden structure and the lower flat were scene with visible flames.  Following a brief size-up the National Fire Service went into operation to extinguish the fire.  Efforts were made to contain the fire from spreading to adjacent structures [and] eventually the two trucks had exhausted their water supply.  Efforts to draft water from a nearby creek on Daly Street failed when the trucks, both units, experienced mechanical problems.  A third unit had to be called in on scene [and] there was a time lapse on seen where no firefighting was being done as the changeover was made.  When that truck arrived on the scene the truck was eventually re-supplied with water and the fire was brought under control and extinguished.  As a result of the time lapse, we had four structures receiving fire damage.  Number thirty-seven Handyside Street address, the two-storey wooden structure was completely destroyed by fire.  The upper flat of number forty-three Handyside Street address was damaged by the fire, gutted, literally.  The ridge and part of the interior roof numbers forty-five and thirty-seven Handyside Street addresses received minor fire damage.  The fire originated in the lower flat of the structure at number thirty-seven Handyside Street address.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.  There is presently an in-depth assessment going on on the two units to ascertain the cause of the mechanical fault.”

Channel 5