Turtle Inn’s Tender Thatch Caught Fire
The fire at Turtle Inn Resort between miles 22 and 23 on the Placencia Peninsula started when a thatch roof over the kitchen caught fire. That's what police say after a two hour firefight that saved the rooms, but saw the offices, the kitchen area and the winery destroyed.
The blaze started at around 2:45 when five cooks were inside the Kitchen when they smelled smoke and saw a small area where the metal chimney exits through the thatched roof engulfed in flames. They tried to put it out, but the fire caught and quickly began to spread causing the rest of the thatched roof to be destroyed.
The entire wooden bungalow quickly caught on fire and the National Fire Service along with employees of the resort and villagers worked to put out the fire - which took about two hours to control.
Police report that the building is insured, but the value of damages to the building and its contents are yet to be ascertained.
Turtle Inn kitchen burns; hotel still in business
There are details tonight about the fire that struck the famous Turtle Inn in Placencia. The resort owned by the renowned filmmaker, Francis Ford Coppola, suddenly went up in flames on Thursday afternoon but damage was confined to one area and guests were not affected. While it was back in business today, the main restaurant is closed. The fire erupted from the pizza oven in the kitchen at about two-thirty. Five cooks on duty reported that they smelt smoke and upon making checks they noted that the area where the metal chimney exits through the thatched roof was engulfed in flames. The fire spread quickly through the thatch roof and the Belize National Fire Service along with assistance from the public, were able to bring the fire under control. The building that was destroyed houses the offices, kitchen and winery which was well stocked. Employees are today picking up the pieces. Luvia Martinez, the hotel’s house manager, explains.
On the Phone: Luvia Martinez, Turtle Inn Resort
“We did suffer a fire yesterday, actually a kitchen fire so we lost our kitchen. We are back in operation definitely, with the exception of our main restaurant; so we are in operation.”
“There was no damage to any of the condos, other guest rooms and so on?”
“No, no. Our guest rooms, our cottages, they were not affected; it was only our kitchen that was affected in the fire. And of course, luckily no one was injured as far as staff and also guests, so everybody is in good spirits right now. So no, the only thing we lost was our kitchen.”
“Any indication, at least from the Fire Department or Police about what specifically caused the fire?”
“The fire actually started off in the kitchen, it was in our pizza station oven in the chimney.”
The business is insured but the total costs are not known at this time.