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#515516 - 06/27/16 05:09 AM Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St.
Marty Online   happy

A huge fire has engulfed a section of Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street. The fire reportedly started early this morning. As fire fighters fight to control the area, San Pedro Police are working on evacuating all residents in the vicinity. Reports are that at least two gas containers have exploded, making matters worse. As of an hour ago, The fire is now under control - the bucket brigade stopped it from spreading further and the fire brigade are continuing to douse it.

For those in need of a shelter, The San Pedro Roman Catholic School has been opened. Let's spread the word and share this information and ensure all fire victims have a place to rest!

San Pedro Sun reporters at the scene say the fire appears to be under control. Due to the fire, electrical power has been cut off to portions of Pescador Drive, Angel Coral Street, Coconut Drive and Eliot Subdivision for an unknown amount of time. Residents are asked to bear with this inconvenience as damaged poles and wires will need to be repaired before the power can be reinstalled.

Click photos for more pictures

More information and videos on the San Pedro Sun facebook page and the Ambergris Today facebook page.

Community members come together to form bucket brigades in an effort to control the fire. Unofficial reports are that at least four homes have been destroyed by the inferno.

The extent of the damage of the devastating fire is huge. Firefighters and volunteers have taken control of the fire, extinguishing most of it and are still dousing burning embers as daylight approaches. No casualties have been reported and shelter for the fire victims has been opened at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School.

We don't know of any casualties or injuries yet. Buildings from lino's meat shop down to Graniel's Dream Shop have been damaged/ burnt to the ground. Almost an entire block of buildings along the left side (looking north to south) of middle street Pescador Drive has burnt down.

Brian Halliday: We did good tonight, everyone that participated. It could of been a lot worst! I want to big up up the police department, fire department and everyone who volunteered we made a difference tonight. I hope no life was lost. God bless the victims and I thank everyone that assisted in any way possible!

#515519 - 06/27/16 06:55 AM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
bobcat bill Offline
Be Strong San Pedro You have been twice in the past.

#515522 - 06/27/16 09:53 AM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
suecate Offline
Prayers to all. We are coming down on the 19th will check for list of what people need.

#515523 - 06/27/16 12:07 PM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
Laguna Punta Offline
Here is hoping reports of no loss of life is true. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost their homes and business's.
Gone fishing!!

#515528 - 06/27/16 02:35 PM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
Re-posting from San Pedro Sun Facebook:

"After the recent fire during which 88 people lost everything, we know that there are a lot of kind-hearted people seeking to make donations to help their cause.
As such, we urge you to proceed with caution when donating, and we recommend verifiable organizations such as the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, The Red Cross, The San Pedro Lions Club, and The San Pedro Rotary Club who will ensure that the fire victims receive donations."

I know someone has set up Go Fund Me account and while I'm sure it's with the best intentions I don't know this person and they haven't stated exactly what they will do with any money that they collect. As the San Pedro Sun has noted, donations can be made through long standing, well recognized organizations on the island and I'm sure they will set up methods for receiving funds from outside of the country in a short time.


#515529 - 06/27/16 04:28 PM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
Donate through South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch: https://sacnw.org/wp/product/fire-victim-assistance/

#515530 - 06/27/16 04:53 PM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
Noelle Offline
Also, from Tropic Air's Facebook Page:

"Our hearts go out those affected in last night's fire in San Pedro. While we are saddened by the loss of homes and businesses, we are happy that there were no major injuries.

If you wish to donate to those affected, you can drop your item(s) off at any Tropic Air Cargo station in Belize, and we will make sure it gets to those affected FREE of charge.

If the donation is for a particular family, we ask that it be properly packaged (no oversized boxes or items please) and labeled "Family ____, Fire Donation". If it is a general donation, we ask that it be labeled "Fire Relief", and we will take it from there."

#515532 - 06/27/16 05:26 PM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

88 San Pedro residents affected by devastating fire

As many as 88 residents have been left homeless after a devastating fire gutted through 17 homes shortly after midnight on Monday, June 27th. 11 buildings were totally destroyed, of which 8 were businesses and 3 were family homes. 6 buildings were partially destroyed. 27 families, totaling 88 people, have been affected by the most devastating fire San Pedro has seen in recent history. 21 families (68 people) lost everything.

The fire roared through wooden and concrete buildings on Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street as the San Pedro Fire Department and the ever-present bucket brigade frantically tried to get it under control. By 4AM, the fire was brought under control, but not after it had caused major damage. According to Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott, upon receiving the call around 12:30AM, Police and Fire personnel arrived at the scene where they observed the rear part of El Dorado Store engulfed in fire. At about 8:30AM, the fire had passed, stopping just short of Graniel’s Dreamland. Police are calling it an act of arson.

As of this morning, the displaced families have been put up at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School to shelter. Power has not been restored to the surrounding area, and people are being urged to stay out of the burn location as cleanup efforts are under way.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


On Monday, June 27th, 2016, shortly after midnight, a huge fire engulfed eleven (11) buildings that were totally destroyed, of which eight (8) were businesses and three (3) were family homes. Six (6) buildings were partially destroyed. This is the most devastating fire San Pedro has seen that has affected twenty-seven (27) families, totaling eighty-eight (88) people. Twenty-one (21) families (sixty-eight (68) people) that lost everything.

The San Pedro Town Council and the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation along with various organizations, such as, Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works, Transport and NEMO, the San Pedro Fire Department, NEMO, the San Pedro Police Department, the People’s United Party, the San Pedro Food Bank, San Pedro Lions Club, San Pedro Red Cross, Projects Abroad and the Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye have been working diligently to assist those affected by the fire by creating strategies to clear the area, finding resources to further aid them at this time of need and allocating shelter for the families that lost their homes.

As of last night, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has been activated and working closely with the above-mentioned organizations and the San Pedro Town Council. During the course of the day, the SPTC assigned its work crewmen to the site of the fire to help dispose of the large pieces of debris; however, the assistance of more volunteers is greatly needed.

The San Pedro Town Council and the different organizations are hereby requesting that those wishing to donate non-perishable goods such as canned food and items like clothing, shoes, toiletries, etc. to kindly do so at the San Pedro Lions Den. Those wishing to make fresh food donations for volunteers and fire victims can do so throughout the day at the SPTC Conference Room. Also, those wishing to make monetary donations can direct their donations to the San Pedro Lions Club/Fire Relief.

Currently, volunteers are still needed at the San Pedro Lions Den with the distribution of items, as well as at the NEMO station, which is located at the SPTC Conference Room (back of SPTC building). The NEMO station will be operating at the SPTC Conference Room for approximately three (3) days with twenty-four (24) hour assistance.

For more updates follow the San Pedro Town Council’s facebook page or call the SPTC’s offices at 226/2936.

The immense support from the community of San Pedro, and the visitors as well, was overwhelming last night; and the continued assistance proves that the community of San Pedro is strong and united.


San Pedro inferno leaves 88 homeless

Eighty-eight persons were left homeless after a four-hour inferno gutted eleven large buildings on Pescador Drive, one of the main arteries in San Pedro.

The devastating blaze stripped 27 families of their homes. According to official reports, 11 buildings were completely destroyed and 6 were partially damaged. Eight businesses were completely destroyed, and six were partially destroyed. Of the 27 families (consisting of 88 individuals) that were affected, 21 families, comprising 68 of the 88 persons affected by the fire, lost everything.

While no fatalities were reported, Amandala was told that without the prompt response of the National Fire Services, the Police Department and the approximately one hundred locals who formed a 50-foot bucket brigade to combat the flames, the destruction caused by the fire could have been much worse. However, Assistant Superintendent of San Pedro, Henry Jemmott, had a different view.

He told Amandala that many of those individuals who had offered immediate assistance were under the influence of alcohol and in fact, served as major impediments to fighting the fire.

“I believe the police and the Fire [Department] were adequate enough. We were organizing. What was a part of the problem is there was a lot of people who were under the influence and were not causing us to carry our job efficiently and effectively. After we had moved away a large amount of the crowd who were under the influence, we managed to set up our barricade. We managed to set up where we were going to fight the fire and contain it to one block,” said Jemmott.

According to police, at around 12:45 a.m., they were called to a burning 2-storey wooden apartment behind El Durado’s Store which then belched flames onto Lino’s Meat Shop, and then engulfed other apartments and residential buildings in near proximity.

While these victims try to put the pieces of their lives back together, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the San Pedro Town Council and other non-governmental organizations have offered to provide much-needed assistance.

Minister Edmund Castro, who today received a firsthand report of the tragedy, told Amandala, “As NEMO, we are preparing a barge to send to the island this evening, that will be assisting the fire victims with mattresses, tabletop stoves, food and other emergency packages. We will be doing our best, as the Government of Belize through NEMO, to assist those victims until they could get on their feet.”

The mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero, told us that while he is saddened by the loss of property that affected one of his councilors and one of his brothers, as well as the losses suffered by other victims, he viewed the community’s response as, “something beautiful.”

He told us that he hadn’t slept yet, and that he had activated volunteers and other agencies to work on shifts to provide three days of assistance to the victims.

Carolina Kumul, the secretary of the San Pedro Lion’s Club, informed us, “We have 27 families that were affected, so we, as a non-profitable organization, are here with our gates opened, receiving donations from the public — clothes, food, any cash donations to help the fire victims.”

Ted Smith, the National Fire Chief, who conceded that they only had one functioning fire truck, as the other was out of service, praised the response of the firefighters and the support of the community. He said that investigations into the terrible fire were pending.

In regards to those investigations, however, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott said, “At this time, both firefighters and police are engaged in separate investigation, but at some time we will assist one another. We are doing a criminal investigation pointing to arson. At this time, we have one person detained and we have recorded two statements. We are just wanting for the power to come on so our officers can [look at] some of the cameras in the area to assist with the investigations.”

When Amandala asked why an individual would want to see eleven buildings burned down, Jemmott responded, “It’s a very difficult question and I believe the intention wasn’t that, but because of the demographics of San Pedro and the buildings that were involved, it clearly showed that with just by lighting anything within that area, it would have spread.”


#515533 - 06/27/16 05:32 PM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Aftermath of Fire on Pescador Drive

Donations are desperately needed, as entire families are now homeless and will have to start all over. Items needed include practical clothing and canned food, household items, towels, pots, pans, silverware, sheets, pillows, toys, toiletries (including sanitary items), toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.

UPDATE: Baby items are desperately needed as well: wipes, diapers, formula, etc. As people have no way to cook, instant meals such as cereals and milk are much appreciated.

Drop-off locations:

The San Pedro Lions Den
San Pedro Roman Catholic School
San Pedro Town Council
Crazy Canuck’s
Sandbar (Food Bank)
Palapa Bar has a box set up for donations

The South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch is collecting cash donations via their website.

Tropic Air Belize has opened its Cargo section to ship donations from all over the country: “If you wish to donate to those affected, you can drop your item(s) off at any Tropic Air Cargo station in Belize, and we will make sure it gets to those affected FREE of charge. If the donation is for a particular family, we ask that it be properly packaged (no over-sized boxes or items please) and labeled “Family ________, Fire Donation“. If it is a general donation, we ask that it be labeled “Fire Relief“, and we will take it from there.”

Maya Island Air “Management and Staff have begun a relief drive to assist those affected and we encourage our partners and friends to do the same. If you wish to donate articles of clothing, linens, canned goods, toys and the like, kindly package and label them accordingly, and drop them off at your nearest Maya Island Air Cargo Station. Maya will be flying this relief freight at no charge, so feel free to spread the word and donate to those affected on San Pedro. *For consideration, we are requesting no over-sized packages. Our hearts go out to you all and we hope you will recover and become stronger each day!”

Caribbean Queen Marine Services and Caribbean Depot of San Pedro Ambergris Caye will be providing FREE ocean freight and delivery services of donations from the Belize City Port to the island. You can contact Alex Eiley at 670-2271 for coordinating. Items meant for particular victims that are too heavy or large which cannot be delivered by the airlines should have the names of the persons written on the packages or items and sent to the Belize City Port.

#515619 - 06/28/16 06:00 AM Re: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St. [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Block Burner On San Pedro Leaves 88 Homeless

Tonight, 88 people are homeless, and there is major loss of property as San Pedro town tries to recover from a massive fire that devoured part of a downtown block in Belize's tourism capital.

Tonight, we'll have the story from the island plus the answers from the fire chief and the police.

We start with the basic narrative. This morning at12:45, The San Pedro Fire department received a report of a fire on Pescador Drive, which is in the heart of the town. By the time it was done four hours later, 11 buildings had burnt and 6 were partially damaged.

Today, Our news team went to the island to see the aftermath of the blockburner. Daniel Ortiz reports with the help of imagery from the San Pedro Sun:

Initial reports say that as at least 88 people were left homeless in the aftermath of probably the biggest fire on San Pedro Island spread to the a large portion of block between Pescador Drive Buccaneer Street. This terrible blaze destroyed 11 buildings, 8 which were business places, and 3 of them homes. Another 6 buildings were partially damaged.

Seen here, the flames started spreading some time after 12 a.m., It quickly got out of control, and

As These photos, courtesy the San Pedro Sun Newspaper, show, the residents formed bucket brigades to try to get it under control. Try as they might to assist the San Pedro Fire Department, the fire burned for approximately 4 hours straight.

When it finally subsided, this is the mass wreckage it left in its wake, devastating 26 families, 21 of which lost everything.

But, Police say they aren't taking granted that it was indeed an accident. In fact, they've made detentions, and they have reasons to suspect Arson, which they will follow up on.

Those nearly 100 persons are on a very long road to recovery after having their lives turned upside down with this disaster. But, the People of San Pedro have been working to ensure that the victims don't have to struggle alone as they try to recover:

There are many needs after the fire, and many who want ot make donations. But, our friends at the San Pedro Sun say be careful to whom you donate. They recommend, the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, The Red Cross, The San Pedro Lions Club, and The San Pedro Rotary Club who will ensure that the fire victims receive donations.

Why Only One Fire Truck And Two Firemen?

<And so while that is the fire and the aftermath, what about the firefight? Did the Fire Department fail to contain the fire effectively?

There was only one fire truck working and only two fire men on duty. When they arrived at the scene, they found an unoccupied two storey wooden structure on fire. The bad part was that it was surrounded by other wooden buildings - which was a recipe for the disaster that unfolded. The fire truck quickly expended the 300 gallons of water it had in the tank, and then had to activate mobile pumps to source water from the sea. That's more than 15 minutes down time - which is when the fire quickly spread. We spoke to the Fire chief today about what went wrong, and what was unavoidable:..

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"On arrival they found the structure fully engulfed in flames. The structure belonged to August Tabony, and is located in the middle of the block between Barrier Reef and Pescador Drive. The department went into operation, exhaust its tank of water and then seek supplementary water supply and tried to contain the fire. At the conclusion of firefighting there were 11 structures that suffered major fire damage and six other structures that suffered external fire damage on the wall that was exposed to the fire area. The exact area of origin and cause of the fire is still undetermined as we have an investigator working out there to try to establish the exact area and cause of the fire within that structure. We also learnt that the structure was unoccupied at the time of the fire."

Jules Vasquez
"Is there any indication that it may have been a case of someone setting the fire?"

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"It's a little too early to say, Mr. Vasquez, whether it is incendiary or accidental or any other nature."

Jules Vasquez
"The spreading from one structure eventually engulfing 11 other structures, is this a failure of the fire department? We know we saw that citizens had to do a bucket brigade."

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"The location and type of structure is very congested, it's quite a challenge for the department out there. The department worked hard with the civilians who came out and we must thank them all but the location of the fire created quite a challenge for any fire department to contain."

Jules Vasquez
"Was there a continuous supply of water? You said that the tank expended its supply. I know that there's only a finite supply which the fire engine itself is able to carry. Was there a smooth, efficient, effective transition to pump water?"

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"In the initial stage of any fire, that is impossible, because we don't have the quantity of trucks, this is Belize we're living in. we cannot send 6-7 trucks out there where 3-4 trucks get into operations and 2-3 trucks look in for supplementary water supply. That is not what will happen in Belize in your lifetime or mines. The reality is that we have trucks out there, we have portable pumps, when the truck goes into operation. it only carries 300 gallons of water, it can do one of things, to seek supplementary water immediately and leave the fire let it burn, which you will hear we came empty, or go into operation, exhaust your 300 gallon of water and then seek supplementary supply, which we'll take from the sea along with your portable pump which will take a few minutes to get into operations. Long and short, it's not an easy task, it's a difficult task, and there can never be consistent flow in the initial stages, no way with the state of the fire service today nor tomorrow in Belize."

Jules Vasquez
"So ultimately, the fire spread, because the fire department is just set up for a little island town and its under-resourced?"

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"It would be more ideal to have more equipment Mr. Vasquez."

Jules Vasquez
"But in the 21st century on the island that generate the most foreign exchange earnings for Belize per square mile, isn't it ashamed that we have to resort to a bucket brigade?"

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"I am not aware of any bucket brigade, I know we had a portable pump. You and I know that bucket can do very little to a fire."

Jules Vasquez
"That happened last night, we have the pictures."

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"Yes, but the bucket itself can do very little, how close can you get with that bucket even with the fire kit you can't get close, and it's designed for that."

Jules Vasquez
"So you are saying those people out there were wasting their time?"

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"You're saying it not I. every little that you can get in a time of disaster is important, every little help that you can get. What I would like to do now is to appeal to the San Pedroanians, they will come out and help the fire department but what I'd ask them to do is to please come and receive some training, join the voluntary element at the fire department."

Jules Vasquez
"With the location of the fire and the situation on the ground being that it was in a residential area with apartments, with businesses, it's a multipurpose area. Is it fortunate that no one was hurt in that fire?"

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"First of all we want to thank God that no one was hurt."

Jules Vasquez
"The report say that there are over 80 people homeless and apart from being homeless there's the major loss of property and all the finance that represents. These people blame your department Mr. Smith."

Ted Smith, Fire Chief
"You're blaming our department Mr. Jules, I was out there and I didn't hear anyone blaming the fire department, but you are the one blaming the fire department."

Smith says that with the location of the wooden structure where the fire started, even if the Fire Department had a headstart, they would not have been able to contain the fire. Two more fire fighters will be assigned for the island. The island has two fire trucks but only one was working the mechanic was scheduled to do repairs on the second one today. The newest fire truck in the Department's fleet is 16 years old - and there are more than two, which are over 40 years old. A new truck costs about three quarter million dollars.

Channel 7

88 Persons Homeless after Fire Devastates San Pedro Neighborhood

As many as eighty-eight persons have been affected by the biggest fire to erupt in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The inferno sent clouds of fire into the sky as smoke engulfed the area on Sunday night. It is not yet known what sparked the blaze on Pescador Drive in the heart of the town, destroying a total of eleven buildings before it could be contained. Residents assisted in the efforts to put out the inferno as only one of two fire trucks in the prime tourism destination was operational. All hands are on deck right now as investigations take place. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The human impact of a massive overnight fire in the heart of San Pedro Town cannot be understated.  Images of the hellish experience continue to spread across all corners of social media with equal urgency as did the blaze itself.  At ground zero, responders of all sorts, including police officers, emergency management personnel, B.E.L. linesmen, and insurance agents, continue their assessment of the extensive damages.  An entire block has been virtually decimated by fire.

Abel Dorado

Abel Dorado, Fire Victim

“There was an abandoned home at the back of my residence and that was ablaze.  When I woke up and peeped through the window I saw it was ablaze and it crossed over to my building and the whole structure went down.”

That building, along with several others facing Pescador Drive, has been reduced to rubble.  Storefronts immediately across from the ruins have also been singed.  The entire area is a haze of smoke.

Reymundo Nunez

Reymundo Nunez, Proprietor, Lourdes Store

“I was alerted about one in the morning and I live about three miles south.  I came with the golf cart and I had to jump the fence, break the window and come in my store.  At that time there were some hoses on the street but no water, so I thought that I was going to lose everything, you know.  But fortunately, at that time, water came in and the fire was contained after that.”

…but not prior to consuming everything in its path.  Even before the smoke clears the damage is staggering.  Area Representative Manuel Heredia Junior, who was at the scene of the fire since being alerted sometime around one o’clock this morning, breaks down the damages numerically.

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative

“The total number of buildings completely destroyed were eleven.  The total number of buildings partially destroyed [was] six and then the number of businesses completely destroyed was eight and the number of businesses partially destroyed was six.  Total number of families affected were twenty-seven and then the total number of people affected altogether were eighty-eight.  The total number of families with complete loss was twenty-one and the total number of people with complete loss was sixty-eight.  The total number of families with partial loss was six and the total number of people within those six families are twenty.”

Among the many victims is the Guerrero family.  While they declined appearing on camera, a sibling narrated the events from her perspective.

Voice of: Fire Victim

“Around 12:03 I woke up.  They were banging on my door, my brother and my sister-in-law and that’s when the fire was already, their house was already on fire.  They live behind my house and their house is completely gone.  There we had, they lived upstairs and he has his workshop downstairs and my brother had a place downstairs also.  Then I had another brother who had his workshop, he’s an artist; so he lost everything.  There was no time to get anything out, we just wanted to get out alive, that was the main thing.  So we didn’t have time to take out much.  We had what we call a bodega and we had a lot of personal items and a lot of things that were, you know, so that’s a big loss too.”

Arguably the biggest fire in the history of the island, quenching the towering inferno and securing the perimeter was not without its share of hiccups.  The local police department has been working overtime since being called to the scene of the fire.

ASP Henry Jemmoth, Deputy O.C., San Pedro Police

“From the activation about 12:05 this morning, we have had a steady flow of officers, meaning that we have protected the entire area, the complete block that the fire has devastated.  We managed to stop a lot of looting last night during the course of the fire and we worked side by side with the fire department because they are a very small number.  So along with the public, the police officers also worked as firefighters as well.  We managed to, by 1:30 we managed to get out our officers who had worked the day shift so we had a maximum of about twenty officers on the ground.  So that made us cover the entire area from Pescador to the Barrier Reef Drive.”

Henry Jemmoth

While an investigation is ongoing into the cause of the fire, police on the island aren’t ruling out arson as a motive.

ASP Henry Jemmoth

“Based on the investigation, the fire [department] is doing its own investigation to see if it is an arson or it was fire just lit from something.  But we, as the police department, are mandated also to conduct an investigation, a criminal investigation into the matter and at this point we have one person detained.  We have two persons that we are questioning as to their whereabouts since last night.”

Massive Relief Effort Launched in Wake of Fire

The families displaced by the fire are looking for basic necessities following the horrible fire. They lost everything in the blink of an eye. In the island, relief efforts have started, but it will take some time to recover from the tremendous losses. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, San Pedranos are coming together to assist victims with shelter, as well as food and clothing.  A total of eighty-eight persons have been displaced by the conflagration and are in need of basic necessities.  Leading the effort and coming to their aid is the San Pedro Lions Club.  Since this morning, members of the organization have been doing their part to raise funds and collect various items to donate to the fire victims.

Nigel Belisle

Nigel Belisle, Incoming President, San Pedro Lions Club

“There are about eighty-eight fire victims that lost everything they had and what Lions normally does, we are an N.G.O.   We are a non-government organization where we try to assist fire victims and people that are sick and what we are doing today is that we are asking the entire community, whoever, if they have clothes or anything they can donate they can bring it here at the Lions Club and the victims can come here and get whatever they need.  Whatever we can assist with that is what we are trying to do for them.”

Well-known businessman Abel Dorado, proprietor of El Dorado’s Store, has lost everything.  Despite the property being insured, its contents were not covered.

Abel Dorado

Abel Dorado, Fire Victim

“My residence and my store burnt to the ground.”

Isani Cayetano

“Do you have any kind of insurance?  What are we looking at in terms of the overall damages?”

Abel Dorado

“Mein, it’s a good amount.  Well the house was insured but my goods weren’t insured so… I had my store well stocked so I took a great loss. Actually the fire department took a little while to come in and they just had water, yes, on the truck, but eventually that ran out in less than half an hour I would say and the water from WASA didn’t have enough power to go through the truck and there was no water in the building.  There was no power from WASA, noh.”

The magnitude and sheer impact of the damages begs a serious question about the island’s preparedness for such a disaster.

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative

“We met at three o’clock this morning, NEMO San Pedro, we met three o’clock this morning to discuss more or less what we will do and this morning we had an assessment as to what the report is over there.  We have informed central NEMO Belmopan as to what happened.”

Why isn’t there a better facility for the massive infrastructure development that is San Pedro and why do they have to rely so heavily on the bucket brigade?

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“We have to be sincere when things of this nature happen and I believe that yes there is need for improvement.  We have seen that every time there is a major fire we are faced with certain problems.  Nonetheless, I must applaud the people that are always cooperative, they are always over there immediately responding.  We had hundreds of people over there.  Again, the fire brigade helped a lot but one or two businesses also came with their portable pumps over there and that also helped.  But everybody putting their resources together we made it happen, otherwise it could have been a catastrophe.”

Fortunately, there was no loss of life.  From a humanitarian perspective, residents of the island have been pouring out to assist as best as they could.  The effort has been tremendous.

Nigel Belisle

“This has been very overwhelming and thing and everybody is really coming out and supporting the victims and I give thanks to the entire community of San Pedro and we’re also getting assistance from people throughout the country, the Lions Club from Belmopan, from Orange Walk, Belize City.  Everybody is taking part in this drive that is happening here today.”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“With all the Lions, N.G.O.s, San Pedro Town Council and myself, we are making sure that we can collect as much food, clothing and so forth from the community itself.  Already some of the hotels have pledged rooms for those people that do not have friends or families and a number of restaurants have also pledged to donate food in the meantime, for at least the first three days and from there we will see what else we can do for these families.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5

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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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