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.
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 - 06/27/1605:55 AMRe: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St.
"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.
"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 - 06/27/1604:26 PMRe: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St.
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
MASSIVE FIRE IN DOWNTOWN SAN PEDRO – JUNE 2016
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.”
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.
The San Pedro Lions Den
San Pedro Roman Catholic School
San Pedro Town Council
Sandbar (Food Bank)
Palapa Bar has a box set up for donations
The South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watchis 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 Depotof 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.
#515622 - 06/28/1605:14 AMRe: Fire engulfs section of Pescador Drive & Buccaneer St.
San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero emphasized that the main priorities are having enough volunteers to speed the clean-up, accommodations to shelter the victims, food, water, and clothing. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with stakeholders from various Non-government organizations held a briefing at the SPTC conference room to discuss relief efforts for the fire victims.
According to Mayor Guerrero, recovery depends on the community. “This is a tragedy, and we need to overcome it just as we have in the past. I know people of San Pedro are hardworking, and I know with the help and ideas of our good people, we will get back on track,” said Mayor Guerrero.
The San Pedro Lions Club is donation central, and they have been actively collecting clothing, footwear, toiletries, and non-perishable food. The Lions Club is fully responsible to accept all cash donations for the relief victims. Mayor Guerrero confirmed that Reef Radio is planning to host an all-day radiothon to collect monetary funds on Thursday, June 30th, and Friday, July 1st.
If you wish to donate clothing, footwear, toiletries, personal goods, canned goods, equipment, baby supplies, toys, and feminine products, you may drop off your donations to the following places: Lions Den, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, SPTC, Crazy Canucks, Palapa Bar, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye, and The Sandbar. Maya Island Air, Caribbean Queen Shipping, and Tropic Air are also on board to help, and will be offering free cargo transport to those who wish to ship their donated items. Saga Humane Society is providing pet shelter, dog or cat food, toys, leashes, and collars. Victims may contact Eileen Jamiso at 600-7450 for more details.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun
Tally of Destruction by Downtown San Pedro Fire:
Total # of Buildings Completely Destroyed - 11
Total # of Buildings Partially Destroyed - 6
Total # of Business Places Completely Destroyed - 8
Total # of Business Places Partially Destroyed - 6
Total # of Families Affected - 27
Total # of People Affected - 88
Total # of Families with Complete Loss - 21
Total # of People with Complete Loss - 68
Total # of Families with Partial Loss - 6
Total # of People with Partial Loss - 20
The San Pedro Sun
Relief efforts for fire victims underway If you wish to donate clothing, footwear, toiletries, personal goods, canned goods, equipment, baby supplies, toys, and feminine products, you may drop off your donations to the following places: Lions Den, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, SPTC, Crazy Canucks, Palapa Bar, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye, and The Sandbar. Maya Island Air, Caribbean Queen Shipping, and Tropic Air are also on board to help, and will be offering free cargo transport to those who wish to ship their donated items. Saga Humane Society is providing pet shelter, dog or cat food, toys, leashes, and collars. Victims may contact Eileen Jamiso at 600-7450 for more details.
The SPTC will be organizing a clean-up for the next three days. Those willing to volunteer should meet at The Sandbar at Boca del Rio at 7:30AM with gloves, masks, and any equipment (shovel, rake, wheel barrow, etc.) to speed up the process.
Over the course of the clean-up, the SPTC will be hosting meals for the fire victims, and volunteer workers at the Town Hall Conference Room. Those affected can stop by during breakfast, lunch hours, and at 8PM. So far, Elvi’s Kitchen, Rojo Bar and Lounge, The Sandbar, Blue Water Grill, El Popular of Orange Walk, and Ramon’s Village has provided food relief assistance. The SPTC advises that anyone who is interesting in donating food to drop off warm meals at the conference room.
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.
Massive Downtown Fire Almost Destroys Entire Block in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Sunrise brought to light the vast destruction that an early morning fire caused in the heart of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Monday, June 27, 2016. The fire started shortly after midnight and spread though homes, businesses, storage rooms and apartment complexes, almost wiping out an entire block.
The fire is said to have started in a small structure in the center of the town block and quickly spread to buildings on the left side of Pescador Drive (Middle Street). The destruction starts from Lino’s Meat Shop and upstairs residence on the corner of Buccaneer St. and extends down the street all the way to Graniel’s Dreamland display room and upstairs residence.
The fire department was reported to have arrived early at the scene, but that it took the firemen some time to set up their equipment and start battling the fire. It was with the assistance of a bucket brigade of over 1,000 volunteers that the fire department was able to control the fire. A line of volunteers stretched from the seafront at Estel’s diner all the way to the lagoon side of the Sunset Boardwalk in a well-organized bucket brigade that managed to salvage Lino’s Meat Shop and upstairs residence.
Ambergris Caye’s Massive Efforts to Assist 88 Fire Victims and Cleanup Downtown Disaster Area As the community of Ambergris Caye rapidly pushes humanitarian efforts to effectively assist the fire victims of this morning’s tragedy and ensure that they are fed, clothed and sheltered, the San Pedro Town Council pushed forward a massive cleanup campaign of the devastated downtown area and the San Pedro Police Department looks into making an arrest of an individual suspected to be the arsonist responsible for the fire.
Henry Jemmott, Assistant Superintendent/Deputy CEO of Police in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, stated that his department is conducting an internal criminal investigation separate from the San Pedro Fire Department’s investigations. They are looking at arson as to the cause of the fire.
Just a few hours after the massive and disastrous fire that raved through downtown San Pedro, the Lions Club, Leos Club and the San Pedro Food Bank were first to organize a collecting station for non-perishable food, clothing and personal items for the fire victims. Clothing, toys for children and even diapers have been made available to them, but now donations of towels, pillow, bed sheets and personal hygiene items are being asked for by the Lions Club/Food Bank.
Devastating Fire on San Pedro’s Busy Middle Street Burns Businesses & Homes to the Ground Last night, at around midnight, a fire broke out on Ambergris Caye – in perhaps the most densely packed area on the island, Middle Street, San Pedro. It was a rainy night…and that’s a good thing. For pictures of the flames, please check the photos from Ambergris Today and San Pedro Sun. I made it to town this morning at about 7am, to see many cleaning up the still smoking debris. Here are my photos.
I parked in front of Elvi’s Kitchen – the block ahead was closed.
The building to the left is Lino’s Meat Shop – they will be running there shop down south as this clean-up continues.
El Dorado Market.
Across the street, doors and signs melted but relatively minor damage compared to what can happen on a windy night.
5 Ways You Can Help San Pedro Fire Victims My heart is heavy today. I woke up to the news that all the buildings between Lino’s Meat and Graniels were badly hit by a fire last night. As I walked home and saw the devastation in my neighborhood and the streets with downed power-lines it made me think just how fragile life can be. One minute everything is normal the next it can all be gone. So many of us take that for granted every day.
As I sit here writing I can smell the lingering smoke and it is making it hard for me to concentrate, I keep thinking about everyone who just lost it all in the blink of an eye.
The silver lining to that is watching the San Pedro community spring to action to help our most vulnerable and do what we can to get them back on their feet. I would like to recognize those who were part of the late night bucket brigade. There were some amazing members of the community working tirelessly to help douse the fire and those helping get the word out.
Police treating fire as arson; 26 families homeless, 11 buildings burned; focus turns to cleanup, donations for victims Updated June 27, 11:07 a.m.: San Pedro Sun is now reporting that 88 people were affected by the fire, mostly left homeless, and 11 buildings were completely destroyed in the early morning fire in Downtown San Pedro, Belize. Eight buildings were businesses and the others were residences.
Updated June 27, 1:12 p.m.: Mary Rodriguez of the San Pedro Sun reports that “police are investigating it as arson.” The Sun quotes Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott as saying, ““So far we are doing internal criminal investigation to see what occurred. The fire department was also assisting at this time; we would not like to speculate but we are looking at arson at this time.”
The numbers are devastating: 21 families comprising 68 people lost everything in the fire, the Sun reports. This link from the Sun includes around 40 stunning pictures from this morning’s fire scene.
Among the businesses destroyed were El Dorado Market, former Waraguma restaurant (recently closed?) and Cortez Upholstery — others?
88 Persons Homeless after Fire Devastates San Pedro Neighborhood