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Re: Fire in Boca Del Río [Re: Marty] #531721
08/07/18 12:05 PM
08/07/18 12:05 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,617
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

At Boca Del Río, San Pedro Town, three days after a massive fire destroyed around 10 houses and left more than 75 persons homeless

NEMO RELIEF SUPPLIES FOR FIRE VICTIMS IN SAN PEDRO As part of humanitarian relief efforts, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is transporting supplies to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where an early morning fire this past Saturday destroyed 10 homes, leaving more than 80 persons homeless. Minister of National Emergency Management Hon Edmond Castro joined NEMO personnel this morning at the Ladyville warehouse as they loaded up relief supplies to ship out to the island by barge.

Click photos for more pictures

Re: Fire in Boca Del Río [Re: Marty] #531729
08/08/18 03:57 AM
08/08/18 03:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,617
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

San Pedro Inferno Started in Angelita Velasquez House; She Finally Speaks

As has been reported, the fire that cleared down a block of ten houses in the Boca Del Rio area was deliberately set. On Monday, Fire Chief Ted Smith confirmed that the blaze was caused by an incendiary that started in the house of Angelita Velasquez.  The well-known food vendor and artisan was not at home at the time of the blaze, but today she and a couple of her tenants reveal what they feel may have triggered the crime.  Velasquez alleges that her ex-common-law husband broke into one of the rooms that she recently rented and lit the fire inside the room.

Angelita Velasquez, Fire Victim

“I was at the park doing barbecue, but as far as I know, people been saying that guy has been hanging around my house, climbing on trees and spying and there are people that will go in and give statement.”

Duane Moody

“Who is he and what is your relationship to him?”

Angelita Velasquez

“He was common-law and I took him to the court and I get a protective order and I was locked up because he told lies that I was still communicating with him and it is not true. I came back from January and a carpenter come and remodel my house and I was doing rooms and I have all my tenants and they are all chefs and bartenders and they do not cook there and they all pay their rent good and we were one happy family.”

John Reid, Tenant

“I was sitting on my bed taking a drink when I heard an explosion so I said, people out here shooting up one another. I never went outside.  After the explosion, I heard someone say, “Take that unu son-of-a [bleep.]” But I still never come out. Dah when the neighbour shout, “Angela, yo house….” dah then I run out from my room cause I deh way ina di last room.  When I run out and look and I saw the room there, the windows open, the door was open and the flames was already through the windows. That’s what I see. So I ran back in and put on my clothes and I get out of the building.”


“I was in the lower flat and upon waking up to try and use the bathroom, I thought cold was in my eyes because everything was blurry. But then I realize the whole place was on fire. Dah lone smoke; I noh see fire ina di room. And when I smell the smoke, I said dah time to evacuate from the room. I thought it was the neighbor’s house. I saw the room where the fire was in wide open and the belongings that the landlord own—nothing was in there like if the person who was renting the place took out everything and said I am going to set it on fire.”

Channel 5


On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, Mayor Daniel Guerrero was at Hope Haven to hand over aid items to the victims of the Boca del Rio fire that took place in the early hours of Saturday, August 4th.

Items that were handed over included: top stove, butane tank, mattresses, sheets & blankets, broom & mop, detergents, bucket, food packages that included canned sausages, cheese, cereal and other canned items.

Thank you to NEMO, Hope Haven, the people of San Pedro and any one who in any way assisted.

Click photos for more pictures!

Re: Fire in Boca Del Río [Re: Marty] #531748
08/09/18 05:18 AM
08/09/18 05:18 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,617
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

What’s The San Pedro Solution

Relief supplies have been coming in for the 87 San Pedranos who lost everything in the weekend’s big block fire in the Boca Del Rio Area.

And while NEMO has given them food, hygiene kits, bedding, mattresses, and a portable stove, and a temporary shelter, what about the rebuilding of their own homes?

Well, that’s where their fellow islanders come in. The villagers of San Pedro are very community minded, and are known to come up big in times of disaster.

We caught up with Area Rep. Manuel Heredia Jr., this morning, and he shared more details about how the community of San Pedro will assist the victims:

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Area Rep, Belize Rural South
"San Pedro is known to be the most united community in the whole of Belize and every time there has been a disaster, our people would come together and try to do as much as possible to make sure we can bring relief to the families affected, this one is no different. NEMO yesterday delivered to the families a number of mattresses, stoves, butane tanks, food packages and we gearing up for a radio-ton shortly where we recruit the most amount of money to be able to give them a start in to build back. The business community has also been responded, I know there has been a number of food, an amount of food that can feed all of the people affected every day. Cope Haven which is where the needy children are put, they are also receiving relief goods to make sure that every day these people are taken care."

"Every time we've had a radio-ton nothing less than 50 thousand, sometimes even as much as 80 thousand has been gathered in this radio-ton and I'm sure this one will be no exception. That one is divided amongst the owners of the buildings and a little to the people that were renting in the area. What I have seen from the people that rent, that at the end of the day they are even better off than when they were renting before but particularly the bigger amount goes to the property owners to make sure they can bring back their homes. Sometimes I believe that they do it even better than what it is but definitely as the area representative I will see where I can assist each one of the people over there and there are also contractors that offer their services to make sure that they can do the manual work so that they can save some monies also."

In our conversation with the Minister, he shared that the Government has decided to increase the fire department’s capacity to better fight fires on San Pedro. But, might the Government be attempting to close the stable doors after the horses have bolted? As we told you, there have been 3 of these devastating block fires in the last 6 years. The first one happened in 2014, right in the same part of Boca Del Rio when 66 residents were left homeless. This weekend it was 87, and some of the same families who were hardest hit in 2014, are now back in the same crisis. 

Then there was the block fire of 2016, which devastated 88 residents, who lost their homes and their businesses. 

So, we challenged the Area Rep., who is also a ranking cabinet minister, about extreme lateness of this intervention by the Government. Here’s what he had to say:

Hon. Manuel Heredia 
"Government, yesterday, agreed that it will do its part in purchasing portable pumps and probably a water truck that can hold probably 3,000-4,000 gallons, which can easily be maneuverer, better than a fire engine. Even though BTL has pledged to donate a fire engine, Government will still do its part to make sure that we reinforce. The idea is to have probably a portable pump on the northern part, 1 on the southern part, and the base in the centre, so that wherever happens, they can start from that, and then they can together and do a better job. This is the second fire in the same area. And also, the building people will be making sure that whenever they can rebuild, they can rebuild in a safer way, so that what occurred on Saturday does not happen again."

Daniel Ortiz
"There is this criticism that these measures to improve the fire response should have been in place years ago. This is the third block fire in 6 years. Why is it the government is only now trying to take measures?"

Hon. Manuel Heredia 
"I will agree with you that probably more should have been done from before but it’s not late. I must admit that there might be negligence on several sectors of the community that affects this problem but nonetheless I believe that like I said you always learn from mistakes and this one time I believe that you will see quick action from local authorities, from government and from the community itself.”

Channel 7

Re: Fire in Boca Del Río [Re: Marty] #531765
08/10/18 04:47 AM
08/10/18 04:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,617
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

No arrests in San Pedro arson so far

Last weekend’s San Pedro inferno which left several houses damaged and over 80 persons displaced, was a confirmed case of arson. Today, Inspector Alejandro Cowo told the media that fire officials have confirmed that someone did set the first house on fire in the area. He added that a test is being done in the lab to determine what type of accelerant was used; but as far as arrests, none have been made so far.

Alejandro Cowo, O.C. of N.C.I.B: Well, that investigation is still underway. Yes, after consulting and speaking with the fire department personnel, they were the one that advised the police that indeed it was a case of arson. The type of incendiary or accelerant or whatsoever that was used, it’s theirs to determine what type it was. That has to be taken to the lab for the laboratory, for the laboratory to determine what was used. But indeed, yes they confirmed that it’s arson. There has been no person detained so far, and there is no suspect at this moment.

Reporter: But the female had not given a name? I heard that she gave a statement to the police.

Alejandro Cowo, O.C. of N.C.I.B: Well, she had given a statement to the police and that is what the police are working with at this moment. Also with the other statements from the other house owners that were affected.

Police investigation continues.


Re: Fire in Boca Del Río [Re: Marty] #531883
08/17/18 12:41 PM
08/17/18 12:41 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,617
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Recovering and rebuilding: Boca del Rio fire victims move on

Two weeks after a devastating fire in the Boca del Rio Area, the 109 displaced fire victims have secured housing within rentals across the island. A total of 22 persons affected were initially housed at San Pedro’s children’s home and community center Hope Haven, where everyone was fed for several days following the fire. As they move forward with their lives, a visit to the fire site at Boca del Rio showed some development on Thursday, August 16th, as new structures are slowly being erected by those who once lived there.

On Sunday, August 12th, the last persons left Hope Haven after finding a place of their own. They all thank the non-profit organization for sheltering them when they needed it the most. Hope Haven continues to accept donations for the fire victims, which are then sent to the Pentecostal Church located across from the fire site. The site has experienced little improvement, but Charles Bennette, who once lived in the heart of the area has begun rebuilding his home. Bennette said that he has not received assistance from any governmental authorities to reconstruct his house, and his family has purchased all the materials for his new home with some aid from his employer. Bennette says he doesn’t expect the government to assist with the rebuilding.

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

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