On Wednesday evening, residents of San Pedro were once again alarmed by the sounds of sirens from the San Pedro Fire Department trucks as they made their way through town towards the southern tip of Ambergris Caye. Although the fire department responded quickly to the call, after extinguishing a warehouse situated in the Boca Ciega area of Ambergris Caye, only charred debris remained from the contents inside the structure belonging to San Pedro businessman Jorge Varela of Varela Construction Supplies and Materials.
According to a police report filed, at around 7:25 p.m. on October 16th, 2002, members of the San Pedro Police Department and the San Pedro Fire Department visited the Boca Ciega area located approximately four and a half miles south of San Pedro Town where a cement structure measuring 24 by 32 feet with zinc roofing estimated at a value of $2,100 was seen engulfed in flames. At the time, the building contained a yellow Caterpillar backhoe valued at $113,000, (100) sacks of cement valued at $1,600, and three tarps (canvas) valued at $1,900. The fire service personnel managed to extinguish the fire but the building and its contents, the property of Jorge Varela of Varela Construction Supplies Company Limited, were completely destroyed.
Sergeant James Morreira of the San Pedro Police Department has informed The San Pedro Sun that he is working along with the forensic department, fire department and crime scene personnel and they have ruled the cause of fire to be arson. No arrests have yet been made; the investigation is ongoing.