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Fire on Avenida Langusta #538359
09/21/19 05:16 AM
09/21/19 05:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Apparently the fire started shortly before 12:30am at Nando’s golf cart rental and passed over to two other buildings near by. The community and fire department worked hand in hand diligently to out the fire. The Voice Of Caye Caulker will follow up this story to find out how the fire started and if there has been any casualties so far none has been reported.

Multiple structures were on fire at the centre of Caye Caulker. Fire officials are currently on the scene. Love News understands that Nando's Golf Cart Rental and Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel were two of the structures engulfed in flames. The fire left the whole island without electricity, but the power has been restored as of this morning.

Several buildings were damaged by the fire, and fire personnel from San Pedro were called over to help.


Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538374
09/21/19 09:57 AM
09/21/19 09:57 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Clothing and non perishable food being collected at Hope Haven in SP for Caye Caulker fire victims.
"If anyone has anything (non perishable food, clothes, household goods, towels, sheets) they would like to send to caye caulker families that were displaced by fire please drop at Hope Haven. We’ll pack up and send over."

Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538376
09/21/19 11:43 AM
09/21/19 11:43 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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from The Voice Of Caye Caulker

A fire on Avenida Langosta destroyed the residence of Mr. Fidel Magaña which was a two-story wooden structure shortly after 12:30am on the morning of Saturday, September 21st 2019. The Caye Caulker Fire Department along with the residents and visiting tourists were able to contain the blaze before it turned into what could have been an inferno. The blaze spread to two other buildings in the vicinity. However, none of the contents (family belongings) inside the burning house could be saved. The Fire Department is now investigating the cause of the fire. The Voice Of Caye Caulker will have more information on this latest incident as it becomes available. Authorities from San Pedro are on their way to Caye Caulker to conduct an official investigation followed by the Fire Department.

*** No injuries have been reported up till this time, but unconfirmed reports say that one person still remains missing***

On the scene of the fire was the presence of the Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr in support of the fire victims.


Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538379
09/21/19 01:07 PM
09/21/19 01:07 PM
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Marty Offline OP

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Body removed following Caye Caulker Fire.

One man is dead after a fire on the island of Caye Caulker had gutted one building and spread to two more. The incident occured on Avenida Langosta after 12:30 a.m. on the 21st of September. While the nation celebrated the eve of Independence, the fire gutted the home of Fidel Magana. The island residents and guests assisted the Fire Department with controlling the blaze from spreading. One man, who was initially reported as missing has been found. Police officers removed the body from the scene this afternoon.

Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538380
09/21/19 04:37 PM
09/21/19 04:37 PM
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Marty Offline OP

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The Community Disaster Response Team has been activated and is accepting donations and assistance on behalf of the victims of last night’s fire.

Good afternoon Caye Caulker. I would like to inform you that there is a group of volunteers that have been trained by the Belize Red Cross known as the CRDT (Community Disaster Response Team).

We will be posted at the Caye Caulker Community Center until 7pm tonight to receive any donations you would like to give to the victims of the fire last night.

Tomorrow and Monday we will be there between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

We thank you for your generosity and will receive your donations with much appreciation.

Clothing Items required for:

1 6mo girl 1 3 yo boy 1 9mo boy
3 adult females 9 adult males

Toiletries, bedding, towels, non-perishables, will all be accepted as well.

Baby formula, diapers, wipes will be very appreciated.

======================

Authorities from the National Fire Service continue investigating a fire in Caye Caulker Village that destroyed a two-storey commercial building (golf cart rental and apartments) on Avenida Langosta. The fire reportedly started after midnight, a bucket brigade was formed to assist the local fire department, but despite such efforts the building could not be saved. As a result, about 15 persons have been displaced. The fire also damaged two other buildings near the blaze.
On Saturday, September 21st, the lifeless body of Elmer Chuc from the Corozal District was discovered within the rubble. Information is that the deceased used to work at the golf cart rental and used to live in the building. According to initial investigation he was trapped inside and could not get out.

San Pedro Sun

Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538392
09/23/19 05:08 AM
09/23/19 05:08 AM
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UPDATE ON FIRE IN CAYE CAULKER

A clean up campaign which took only 24 hours after tragedy struck hapened through the efforts of members of the village council. Councillor Lilia Marin, Councilor Alejandro Carrasco and Vice Chair George Delcid along with islanders came together for a clean up campaign and filled out the land.

Thank you to Rapidito Construction for donating equipment and Mr.Hans Badillo for acquiring sand for filling. Thank you as well to the employees of J and sons Xtreme Golfcart rentals and islanders who were involved in the clean up campaign.

The presence of Area Representative Honorable Manuel Hereria was also on the scene in support of the fire victims.

He also mentioned that a two months rentals will be furnished by human development for those affected by the fire.

Vice Chair George Delcid along with J and sons Xtreme Golfcart rentals and villagers have just finished clearing and filling the land where tragedy struck on September 21st, 2019. The presence of Area Representative Honorable Manuel Hereria Junior was also on the scene and was involved in the filling of the area.

We thank Mr. Delcid and all those involved for taking initiative working hard to restore order to our island.

The clean up effort is being directed by Vice Chair George Delcid assisted by J & sons Xtreme golf cart rental. Meanwhile at the command of Nemo, more assistance are coming in for the fire victims. Thank you to all those who are assisting in one way or the other.

The Voice Of Caye Caulker


Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538405
09/24/19 05:25 AM
09/24/19 05:25 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image]

NEMO assists Caye Caulker fire victims

A tragic fire in Caye Caulker Village during the first hours of Saturday, September 21st, left 10 families homeless and one man dead. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has activated the Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT) and aided the victims with humanitarian aid.

The help, consisting of basic items such as food packs, cooking equipment, and hygienic kits among others, were transported to Caye Caulker on Sunday, September 22nd via a Belize Defense Force airplane. Later in the day, mattresses were transported from NEMO's branch in San Pedro Town with the assistance of San Pedro Fire Department, Customs and the Belize Coast Guard. The Caye Caulker Village Council Hall served as the disaster relief center, where the aid was distributed among the fire victims. Present at the handing over of the items were Area Representative Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. , Caye Caulker Chairlady Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Vanessa Parham of NEMO's San Pedro Branch and members of the CDRT.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538421
09/25/19 04:56 AM
09/25/19 04:56 AM
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Catastrophic Caye Caulker Fire Kills One, Displaces 14

On Saturday, Belizeans all across the nation celebrated the 38th anniversary of the country's Independence. It's a big deal and like with any important, historic day, it resulted in a 3-day holiday weekend.

But, on the island of Caye Caulker, their patriotic merrymaking ended very early when huge fire broke out on one of the village's main streets. It happened at around midnight on Friday night, going into Saturday, when most of the residents were out enjoying the Independence Day fireworks.

That blaze sent the island into an emergency mode with about 50 to 75 residents forming a bucket brigade to try and put it out. It has displaced 14 people: 8 men, 3 women, and 3 children. But, there was one casualty; one man perished in the blaze. Our news team was on the island for most of the day today, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Daniel Ortiz reporting
The Independence Holiday celebrations on the island of Caye Caulker were marred in the most terrible way when a major fire broke out at an apartment complex on Avenida Langosta.

It gutted the homes of 10 families, which is already a very traumatic experience. However, in the aftermath, first responders were further disheartened to learn that Elmer Chub, a resident from the Village of San Jose in the Orange Walk District, perished in the blaze.

It happened shortly after midnight, in the early morning hours of Saturday. Residents were in enjoying the sights of Independence Day fireworks when they learned about the deadly fire.

Seleny Villanueva-Pott - Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village Council
"Everybody was out at the park. Basically all the village council members were out at the park ushering in Independence Day. The entire community was out there looking on at the fireworks display that was going on. It was maybe 23 minutes into the fireworks display that we were alerted of a fire. When most of us got to the scene, the fire was about maybe 8 minutes into everything happening. Wires were being burnt. Live wires were hanging and popping already."

Shawn Herrera - Tenant/Fire Victim
"I went to watch the fireworks. The night we were having some drinks, all of us. The same homeboy who died in the fire, all of us were drinking about 8-8:30. At around 9-9:30, everybody said, 'It's fireworks time'."

Japy Perez - Tenant/Fire Victim
"Imagine looking back, 20 minutes being at the beach, looking back, the house is burning down. I have no words to say. I'm speechless."

Reporter
"But at least, you and your family are alive today."

Japy Perez
"Thanks to God, and thanks to my boss' wife."

Shawn Herrera
"I just stood there, lost, not knowing what to do because I know I have a lot of things in my house that I just got from Courts. All of those gone. And I said, 'Mein, more pressure came down on me'. I am just trying to buy my things to make my home look good."

The would-be block fire damaged multiple structures in the immediate vicinity, but the biggest impact was on Fidel Magaña and his tenants: 8 men, 3 women, and 3 children. These are all his employees, their spouses, and their kids. His home and apartment was completely destroyed by the raging flames

Magana told us that he woke up to the choking smell of smoke all around him, and first responders had to rescue him through a bedroom window on the upper flat, which was about 14 feet high.

Fidel Magana - Fire Victim/Landlord
"They pulled me out of the building from upstairs, when the place almost went down. I was just saved by the bell, the way I feel, by God, you know."

"When I was in the building, and they called me. I wasn't hearing really because maybe the smoke that got into me was already taking me down. When they knocked on the window, and I get up, and I remember when I looked around, I saw the smoke, and I couldn't breathe. I said, well, I'm dead. I gave up. I nearly lay down on the bed, but my little nephew shouted at me, 'Don't do that! Wait' But then, I was conscious [of the fact] that I can't breathe. So, I saw the hole in the window. I pushed my head through it, and it was right from through there that they took me out."

Japy Perez - Tenant/Fire Victim
"I am glad [that] my wife came out with me because she doesn't like to go out. So, I appreciate that she accepted, thanks to my boss' wife, who loaned me a golf cart. If she didn't decide to lend me that golf cart, the story would have been different. She normally locks up and goes to sleep. And she sleeps hard, so I think if she was asleep, that smoke would have made her sleep harder. So, I really appreciate that move when my boss's wife did, which saved my family. That made a big..."

Reporter
"You could have lost her."

Japy Perez
"I could have lost her."

Reporter
"And then you said, your wife went with you, she took the baby as well, right?"

Japy Perez
"Yes, of course, we went together."

Reporter
"So, had she stayed, you could have lost them both."

Japy Perez
"I could have lost - this tragedy could have been bigger."

Elmer Chub, who worked on the island as a golf cart mechanic, was also one of the tenants of the apartment. Residents believed that everyone had evacuated in time. It wasn't until the clean-up effort the next day that his charred remains were found. His companion and fellow fire victim says that he chose forgo the fireworks display. he chose to go to bed, so that he could recover from the alcoholic drinks they indulged in earlier that evening in honor of Independence.

Shawn Herrera - Tenant/Fire Victim
"He didn't go. He stayed because he was drunk, and couldn't walk. So, the man went to sleep, and all of us went out to go see the fireworks. By the time the fireworks were done and we came back, we saw the big blaze. So many people were carrying buckets of water to try and put out the fire."

Seleny Villanueva-Pott - Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village Council
"I know a lot of people speak very highly of him. He was a very helpful young man, and willing to do anything - a very nice person, and I just want to wish my condolences to his family."

The Chairlady of the Village Council says that this deadly fire is a first for the island, and residents are treating it as a learning experience. They want to ensure that a tragedy like this one does not repeat itself. According to her, there were several failures which made this terrible situation even worse.

Seleny Villanueva-Pott - Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village Council
"What we later understood was that different members of the community jumped on the truck, and wanted to start the truck to help the firemen. And in that process, one of the levers for the water pump, from the fire truck, was broken. So, that fire truck was not able to serve us any use that night."

"When we saw the fire, and the lines were popping up, and dangling - live wires dangling - I went over to BEL and I asked them, could you please turn off the power. We're having a fire, and we need you turn off the electricity. The gentleman explained to me that he has protocols in place. He needs to get directives from the central office because they will dictate to him as to which phase of it must be done. I don't know if he couldn't get through with his superiors, but it took us about 20 to 23 minutes before the power was cut."

"Going forward, and I've met with BEL, and we are demanding now that we have linesmen on ground. Caye Caulker only has a small office with a small staff. And for emergencies, we really need men on ground that are able to give command immediately. In a fire, everybody knows that 20 minutes to 25 minutes is a lot of time lost, and lives being lost, and homes being lost in that short span."

"I think we're blessed. Caye Caulker is blessed because every other house within that area was concrete."

"This is a tourist destination, and we have to ensure that things are being done by protocol because we do not want to have losses of lives. This is the first for Caye Caulker, and we really wouldn't want to have a repeat of it going forward."

As you heard in our interview with the island's chairlady, the delay between BEL's central office and the Caye Caulker branch caused the firefighting efforts to also be delayed for over 20 minutes. That loss in that valuable time caused the blaze to continue uninterrupted.

Well, Belize Electricity Limited sent out a press release on the Independence Holiday itself.

They say, quote, "...(BEL) expresses sincere condolences to the family of the young man who perished in a fire on Caye Caulker early this morning A team met today with the Chair of the Caye Caulker Village Council and Fire Department personnel to understand the circumstances of the fire. The Company is conducting its own investigation into the incident. The Company empathizes with the community and offers its support to the Caye Caulker Village Council as it works to garner assistance for the families who were displaced by the fire." End quote.

Also, to assist the families displaced by the fire itself, the NEMO activated the island's Community Disaster Response Team. Within 24 hours, they were able to deliver a few essentials, such as bedding, food packages, cooking equipment, and hygiene items. These items were delivered to the island with the help of the BDF and the Coast Guard. The chairlady tells us that the residents of the island are also making big efforts to help the fire victims with assistance in this time of need.

Residents Do More Harm Than Good in Caye Fire

You'll also remember that the Caye Caulker Village chairlady mentioned that the enthusiastic residents of the island got in the way of the firefighters. They were trying to render aid, and in their frenzied haste, they broke the delivery mechanism for one of the water pumps on the fire truck that was first on the scene. The firefighters had to bring their back up truck which was parked nearby to take over.

This afternoon, the new fire chief, in his debut interview with the press, discussed the incident with the press. He told us that his firefighters are hoping that the enthusiastic residents will still try to help, but will allow them to take lead, without frustrating their efforts to do their jobs:

Colin Gillett, Fire Chief, National Fire Service
"There is actually video footage that when the fire truck pulled up to the scene, the civilians were already out there and they, I'm guessing, in their enthusiasm they started to pull the hose, the levers which the lever that they pulled to engage the pump, they broke it. There is a process, you have to pull one, push one - they pulled it too hard, broke it and thinking it was engage they started to stomp on it with their feet the other one and after that they came with a hammer and they actually broke off two other levers."

Reporter
"In cases like these what would be your advice to the public? I know that they were enthusiastically frenzied in wanting to give assistance and render air."

Colin Gillett
"What we are doing is we are going to work with the Caye Caulker Village Council and they have agreed to find and identify persons to be part of the volunteer brigades so when we have fire like this they will be able to step in the action and know how to work the trucks, know what hoses to pull because a lot of the hoses that they were pulling where not for that section. It was for the other one in the back. There is a lot of training that we are going to step out and about to do. Everybody can be a fire-fighter with the right training that we can provide."

Reporter
"In terms of that type of assistance, any caution that you might want to give to the public in terms of that kind of behaviour?"

Colin Gillett
"We are always grateful for the assistance that we get and we know the public, especially on the islands are a very close nit community, that's why you could see them come out with their buckets to try to help. What I would like to tell them is let us get on the scene and let the professionals at least start to pump the water and then you can help us by holding and stretching the hose and certain things."

And a small correction, in our story, we said that there were 10 families displaced. That's the number we were given on the island, but this evening, NEMO said that the 14 persons negatively affected only add up to 4 families.

Channel 7



Independence Day Fire Leaves One Dead, Several Homeless

At Caye Caulker today, the community is picking up the pieces following a deadly fire. Early on Saturday morning, the quiet in the village was interrupted when a two-storey commercial building, which housed Nando’s Golf Cart Rentals and Apartments, erupted in fire.  Inside one of the apartments was Elmer Chub, a mechanic from San José who had relocated to work on the island and died in fire. Fourteen persons were displaced. The community sprung into action to bring the fire under control. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Panic and disbelief – this was the scene on Avenida Langosta in the wee hours of Saturday morning and this was the blaze that left Caye Caulker village residents terrified.  The crackling sounds of electrical wires, fire-fighters desperately trying to control the towering inferno and a crowd watching in shock and frustration.

Seleny Villanueva Pott, Chairlady of Caye Caulker

“One thing I will say is that Caye Caulker is a very united island when it comes to natural disasters and disasters. The island is ready to activate and to help.”

Today, the rubble has been cleared by a united community who was forced to come to terms to the devastating fire that claimed the life of Elmer Chub, a mechanic of San Jose Village who was staying at one of the ten apartments.

Seleny Villanueva Pott

“He use to work at Nando’s Garage. He was a mechanic, that is what he came here to do. A lot of people speak very highly of him. He was a very helpful young man and willing to do anything. He was a very nice person.”

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Later on that day, police and scenes of crime went through the area where the fire occurred and a as result they found charred human remains. These remains were retrieved and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where presently a post mortem will be schedule on these remains.”

Duane Moody

“The identity?”

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero

“Well we do not have an identity at this time. We know that one male persons Elmer Chub is unaccounted for. The post mortem examination will be conducted and thereafter it will be determined whose remains they are.” 

Chub was reportedly socializing with some friends and decided to retire for the night minutes before the fire broke out. At least fourteen persons, including children, are displaced. Twenty- eight year old Amini Coc and her six months old baby girl, on the request of her husband, decided to leave their apartment minutes before the fire started.

Amini Coc, Fire Victim

“My husband told me that he is going to take us to the fireworks at night. I didn’t want to leave the house. I told him that we were going to sleep in the house with my baby because my baby cries when she wants to sleep. So I told my husband that he can go but I will stay in the house. I didn’t want to go the fireworks. He said that he already rent a golf cart. That is why I went with him, if not I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

Coc and her family lost everything, including important documents. The fire victims are being assisted by the Ministry of Human Development. The fire destroyed a wooden two-storey commercial building which housed Nando’s Golf Cart Rentals, and apartments.

Colin Gillett, Fire Chief, National Fire Service

“Immediately both fire trucks responded to the location along with fire personnel. Upon arriving at the scene it was observed that Nando’s Golf Cart Rentals and apartments was engulfed in flames. Fire personnel got into operations by deploying the portable pump to the rear of the island which is approximately two blocks from the scene. The second fire truck was staged at the north of the crossroad section which is approximately a hundred feet from the scene.”

The blaze began attracting civilians who in an effort to intervene and assist, rendered one of the fire trucks was rendered completely useless after it was damaged during the chaos.

Colin Gillett

“The fire truck that was staged at the north cross road section experienced mechanical failures after civilians intervened attempting to render assistance.  When the fire truck pulled up to the scene the civilians were already out there and they I am guessing in their enthusiasm they started to pull the hose, the levers. The lever that they pulled to engage the pump to make it work they broke it. Thinking that it was engaged, they started to stomp on it with their feet the other one and after that they came with a hammer and they actually broke off maybe two other levers.”

Seleny Villanueva Pott

“So that fire truck was not able to serve us of any use that night. So that was a total loss for us since that fire truck wasn’t, you know able to be of use to us. So what we did then did was to go to our bucket brigade.”

Residents then lined up and the bucket brigade was in full swing, but even so the blaze was out of control.

Seleny Villanueva Pott

“We started to find wells in the area. Meanwhile the second fire truck was being stationed at the back dock where they hoses were being run to the back area of the building to defuse the fire.  I would say at least fifty to seventy five people were out there. We had a water pump going as well, feeding water from one of the wells so. That in itself helped to diffuse the fire.”

It is believed that the fire began at the northwest corner of the apartment. Fire investigation has yet to determine the cause.

Colin Gillett

“We have located where the fire started, which part of the apartment it started but we are still determining what caused it.”

The building and its contents were insured. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting News Five.

Channel 5


Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538433
09/26/19 04:12 AM
09/26/19 04:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,279
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Was BEL Culpable in Ferocity of Caye Caulker Fire?

The Independence Day fire on the island of Caye Caulker, which broke out on one of the village's main streets displaced 14 residents, including men, women, and children. And, the greatest tragedy is that Elmer Chub perished in the flames.

And Chairlady, Seleny Villanueva-Pott, said that BEL is a big part of the blame, because when the first responders arrived on the scene, the electrical lines were live and on fire. BEL needed to cut the power, before they could start to douse it with water.

She said that she then ran to the ranking BEL employee from their Caye Caulker substation asking him to urgently cut the power.

According to the Chairlady, because of protocols, that BEL employee had to get permission from his superiors at the Central Office in Belize City. And allegedly, as much as 20 minutes of valuable fire fighting time was lost.

So, what is BEL's response to this catastrophic lack of urgency? We spoke Dawn Sampson, the General Manager of Employee and Corporate Services, this evening. Here's how that conversation went:

Dawn Sampson-Nunez - GM, Employee & Corporate Services, BEL
"We had a loss of life. No one wants that. So, of course, we join the community in expressing condolences to the family of Elmer Chub. Now, as I said, we join the community in wanting to find out exactly what transpired. In the event an incident of this nature should happen again, what is it that we can do to help improve our response in these situations. What that has meant for us is that we have initiated an investigation. We're in the process of carrying out that investigation, and the key focus for us is, how did we respond? And we're also reviewing our response protocol. The object is to try and identify specific measures that we can take to improve our overall response. Now, having said that, I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's important that we have a complete and full understanding as to what transpired, what role did all the first responders play in this incident. And so, what is critical for us, we're waiting for the report from the Fire Department, the official report to determine exactly what transpired."

"We believe that there are improvements that we can make to our response protocol. Now exactly what the specific measures that we will take, the technical guys are looking at that. And we will determine what those specific measures will be."

"We had made a previous comment to the village council that we would establish a presence on the island. We take our commitment to continuously identify way to improve service to customers and our communities very seriously. So, we have made previous commitments to deploy, to permanently have a line crew on the island. And something that we have expressed to the Chairlady of the village council, that we will have that in place by October of 2019."

Islanders tell us that there were other buildings in close proximity to the fire, and they were only spared from what could have become a block fire because they were all made of concrete.

Channel 7


Re: Fire on Avenida Langusta [Re: Marty] #538539
10/02/19 05:27 AM
10/02/19 05:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,279
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Fire victims on Caye Caulker get help

A check of $4,000.00 was donated by Holchan and Nemo for the fire victims. The CCVC acted as an administrative link to distribute the donation to all victims, who some of which came on camera and expressed their gratitude. We then spoke with the chairlady Seleny Villanueva - pott who commented on the donations recieved.



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Jan 29th, 2019

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