Wings store burns through the night

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 18, No. 6            February 7, 2008

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Thick clouds of smoke billowed through the windows of the storeroom above Wings Store.

As is often the case, residents of San Pedro joined forces and formed a bucket brigade to try to douse flames and be on alert if houses within the vicinity were to start burning as well.

Volunteers climbed ladders to try and help douse flames through the night. Cracks were soon visible along the walls.

Water was pumped out continuously through the night, and many volunteers were on hand to help the SP firefighters.

Residents within the vicinity were affected by the thick clouds of black smoke that poured continuously throughout the night. By Wednesday morning, the back wall was broken down, and firefighters were able to fight the fire on that side.

All materials contained within the storeroom were lost, and the firefighters worked tirelessly to prevent the fire from spreading past its starting point. Neighbors suffered smoke and water damage.

With great items for women, men, children and the household, Wings has become a go to store when looking for that special item. However, as of Tuesday night, Wings will need a good overhaul and new interiors before opening back for business. A fire broke out at approximately 11:30 p.m., on the East side, second floor area of the building. But, manager of Wings is hopefully that with their great staff, long hours and loads of cleaning supplies, Wings will be back soon.

    Unofficial reports are that around 11:30 p.m., owner of the store, A. Hotchandani was settling in for the night when he noticed some smoke emerging from the back. Having family on the island for a visit, Hotchandani thought of them first and evacuated everyone that was at the house, on the second floor of the cement structure. He proceeded to call 911 and soon after help from the San Pedro Fire Department arrived.

    After a couple of hours of battling the smoke, fire fighters had still been unable to locate the source of the blaze. All that came out of the building was black smoke. At approximately 2:30 a.m., Belize fire fighters were dispatched on board a Belize Defense Force aircraft to assist with the fire.

    It is believed that the fire began from the panel switch box but has not been confirmed. As of press time, 10:06 a.m. on Wednesday, fire fighters continue to battle the blaze. More details will be released in next week’s issue.
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