Fire demolishes home in SP

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 32            August 23, 2007

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Firefighters and volunteers were quick to arrive on the scene and help prevent it from spreading.

The fire department had some major help with volunteers who formed a bucket brigade to aid the firefighting efforts.

The charred remains of Kie’s house are all that stand in the yard after the blaze.

Residents of Seagrape Street in San Pedro Town were alerted to a house which was being consumed by fire. On Friday, August 17th flames and smoke seeped through the rapidly burning structure.

    According to reports, at around 9:30 a.m., police received a call from neighbors stating that a house was engulfed in flames. Immediately after the call, the police informed the San Pedro Fire Department who immediately dispatched the fire truck to the scene. About five minutes later, the first fire truck and some nine firefighters arrived at the burning structure. The house, located adjacent to SAGA Society’s Fort Dog, belonged to San Pedro resident, Romy Kie. At the fire truck’s arrival, fire fighters observed that about 75 percent of the building was already engulfed in flames.

    Initial reports reveal that the owner’s brother, Jon Kie was at the time sleeping in the house. The house, consisting of three rooms and one storage room, was occupied by seven individuals, with Jon Kie being the only person in the house at the time of the fire. He told fire officials that he was awoken by the heat and smell of something burning. Fearing for his life, Kie fled from inside the house leaving only a fan turned on which for weeks had been making a noise noting some sort of failure. Investigations further revealed that the house did not have electricity and was being powered through an extension cord from their nearby neighbor; in fact, all three rooms were being supplied with electricity through the extension cord. Fire officials believe that and electrical fault might be the cause of the fire since it originated from Jon’s room. However, witnesses have told them the fire began in the rear of the building. Jon, who seemed a bit disoriented from smoke inhalation, was unable to salvage any valuables or household items, but managed to get away unscathed and in time. Because the house was made of mostly plywood, the structure took less than twenty minutes to be totally destroyed by the fire.

    Fire officials were efficient and effective in carrying out the proper protocol for extinguishing the blaze and having it under control. Officials took approximately 20 to 25 minutes to extinguish the bigger flames but fought with some stubborn flames for two and a half hours before it was completely put out. Of course, some helpful individuals started a water brigade and assisted the fire officials when they needed it most. The structure was about 15 years old, measured 35 feet by 42 feet and did not have its own meter for electricity. The wooden structure belonging to Romy Kie was not insured and had a total value of $35,000.

    The San Pedro Sun wishes to remind the community that in the event of a fire, kindly call the fire station directly at 226-2372.
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