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#51359 - 04/20/02 12:30 PM Fire in San Pedro
Marty Offline
a major fire at around 1:00am today in
San Pedro destroyed seven homes plus Shark's
just beside the Lion's Clinic. The clinic itself was spared only due to the
diligent efforts of local residents
who formed a bucket brigade to save the clinic while firefighters, island
guests and other residents battled the raging fires
in adjacent homes. Maya Island Air was forced to move their planes due to
the intense heat and electrical power was lost to parts of
San Pedro as power lines burned. According to local reports, over 100
people are now homeless as a result of the
fire as many of the homes which burned had apartments and rooms which people
were renting. A guest at Ramon's, Fred
Gallaher, who is a firefighter from New York City (FDNY) joined the
firefighting effort and helped direct firefighting
efforts at the scene literally fighting the fire in a t-shirt, shorts and

I've got some digital photos, but no way to download....sorry.....as of
10:00 this morning, small fires are still burning at
Shark's. Power has been restored to most of the area by BEL crews. Many of
the affected people are in a state of shock
as they lost everything they have. The fire apparently started in a home
adjacent to the Lion's Clinic and spread rapidly
to adjoining structures....not sure if a cause has been determined, but a
rumor passed that one person had been arrested
although not sure who it was or if it was related to the fire.

The people who lost their homes and belongings are going to need immediate
help and I'm sure the San Pedro Town
Board is working to assist them. Any assistance that message board readers could lend I'm sure would
be appreciated.

Any help can be mailed to the San Pedro Lions Club, San Pedro, Belize. they will put it to good use.

[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 04-20-2002).]

#51360 - 04/20/02 02:22 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
seashell Offline
This is terrible!!

Last year when I was there, a friend of mine saw a fire start and due to that, a bucket brigade was able to quickly douse it. The way the buildings are made and so close together, I thought they were quite lucky that time.

I didn't notice in your post any mention of the new firetruck. Was it there; did the pumper work?
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#51361 - 04/20/02 05:29 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
Marty Offline
Fred Gallagher, a FDNY firefighter with Ladder 103 in Brooklyn, came to the
island of Ambergris Caye,
Belize (town of San Pedro) to get away from all of the stresses associated
with firefighting and take a
much needed and deserved vacation. Staying at the legendary Ramon's Village
Resort, Fred and some friends
from the New York area were out enjoying the dining and social activites
last night in San Pedro when they noticed
flames billowing in the distance. Fred's firefighting instincts took over
and he rushed to the scene of a massive fire involving
seven homes and a local business. Manning an 1 1/2" attack line from one of
the island's two fire engines as the nozzleman,
Fred, dressed in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals and his friend Ken Ahrem from
Mt. Sinai, NY battled the inferno along with dozens
of local residents and firefighters. Downed power lines, exploding buckets
of paint and chemicals and lack of water plagued
firefighters during the firefighting effort yet their valiant efforts saved
many more homes and businesses.

Due to the rapid fire spread, a bucket brigade was begun with residents
passing 5 gallon buckets of water hand over hand from the Caribbean ocean to
the fire scene - a distance of nearly 3 blocks. The fire was adjacent to
the Lion's Clinic in San Pedro which was saved due to the heroic efforts of
Fred, Ken, San Pedro firefighters, island residents and numerous island
guests. The Maya
Island Air terminal and nearby aircraft were threatened and planes were
hastily moved to avoid being destroyed. Many of the
homes destroyed in the blaze were multi-family dwellings and local reports
indicate over 100 people are now homeless as a
result of the fire.

As for Fred, who suffered only minor scratches fighting the blaze, he summed
it up by saying "we've faced a lot in New York
the past few months as firefighters. Although it would have been nice to
have turnout gear and SCBA, I could not just stand
around and not do anything. I'm a FDNY firefighter and you learn to work
with the resources that you have available. On the
last night before returning home and back to being a firefighter, I guess it
was only appropriate that we got to fight a fire."
San Pedro residents whose homes and businesses were threatened were glad to
see a seasoned veteran manning a fire
hose although at the time they had no idea he was a member of FDNY. Yet
even on the beach today as Fred prepared to
leave, two local boys recognized him from the fire and stopped to say hello.
Over 2000 miles from home, a firefighter from
New York made a difference - again.

#51362 - 04/20/02 06:32 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
Chloe Offline
GOD put FRED in the right spot at the right time. Of course GOD also put all the other good fire fighting people on the scene too.
Dare To Deviate

#51363 - 04/20/02 09:37 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
Marty Offline
the fire truck didn't work

#51364 - 04/20/02 11:22 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
Debbie Offline
Angels come in all shapes, sizes, from every corner of the world and also at the most appropriate times.... Thank you God, for sending your angels.....

#51365 - 04/21/02 01:42 AM Re: Fire in San Pedro
ScubaLdy Offline
HELP! Some of us don't know where the Lion's Clinic is. I know where the Lion's Bar-B-Q is. Can you tell us what street and cross street and maybe what restaurant or store was close by?
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#51366 - 04/21/02 08:40 AM Re: Fire in San Pedro
bywarren Offline
It is right across the street from the Maya Island Air terminal. Across the airstrip to the west from Tropic Air Terminal.

#51367 - 04/21/02 07:05 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
Laguna Punta Offline
Hi friends: I do not know exactly what didn't work and why early Saturday Morning, but I do know that the Fire Department Personnel and Towns People worked fearlessly to control and put out this fire. This was the first time that I've ever been involved so closely to a fire scene and let me tell you that everything and everyone is stressed beyond the max. On the way to the scene, my trusty Purple Golf Cart broke down due to my aggressive driving. Thanks to Polo, the Purple Steed is back on the road. It is always very easy to be critical of others efforts, but more difficult to look at one's own "worts". As one at the scene, no one was guilty of not trying their best. My hat is off to the San Pedro Fire Department Personnel for their life risking efforts. Their efforts made this tragedy less unfortunate that it may have become. No life was lost!!! Thank God. Take care: Bill
Gone fishing!!

#51368 - 04/21/02 09:57 PM Re: Fire in San Pedro
Scott Offline
Thanks for the update, Marty... And thanks to all the folks who recognize their opportunity to react to an emergency situation. Everyone hopes they'll do the right thing if that time ever comes. Here's to the heroes of September 11, 2001 and the "hero's" of the fire in San Pedro. I hope someone thought "LET'S ROLL!" as they were on their way to help...


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