Fires rage in San Pedro - Officials cite neglect as cause

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 18, No. 15            April 10, 2008

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Lions Den

Boat Fire

On Thursday, April 3rd, 2008 at approximately 5:40 a.m., San Pedro Fire Department employees got a call informing them of an ongoing fire at the San Pedro Lions Den. Arriving on scene, fire officials saw the wooden building engulfed in flames. According to Officer in Charge Jerome Garcia a forced entry gave them access to the fire.

    In approximately ten minutes, fire officials managed to bring the blaze under control. Made out of wood and plywood, the multi-purpose facility received close to 30% of damage, both from the fire and water. The estimated loss, structurally, is $65,000 while items inside which were destroyed amount to $8,000.

    According to Garcia, the cause of the fire was a result of neglect. “In my opinion the cause of the fire may have been an electric fan; a fan that was left plugged in and over heated and started the fire.”

    Since March 17th, fire officials have responded and extinguished various separate fire incidences. Garcia reiterates that many of these fire incidences could be controlled if residents were a bit more careful. “The fire at the Lions Den could have been prevented, the same with the fire reported by the airstrip on March 17th. Since then we have had other incidences that involve neglect. An incident was caused when a resident was using plastic tubing to connect their stove to the gas tank. We want to remind home owners that copper or galvanized tubing should be used when making those connections.”

    On April 8th, fire officials responded to yet another call of a fire. The incident occurred in the DFC Subdivision and according to personnel at the San Pedro Fire Department, they received a call about 1:10 p.m. informing that a boat was ablaze in that area. According to Garcia, when they arrived on the scene they saw a boat completely consumed by the flames. The boat was off shore and behind an area near the San Pedro Transport Department. Garcia told The San Pedro Sun that so far, they have not been able to locate the owner of the boat nor have they established what caused the fire. Garcia did comment, however, that witnesses in the area have indicated that they saw a female untie the boat from where it was docked and proceeded to light it on fire. No official report has been made as to the ownership and since the boat was offshore officials could not state a cause for the fire.
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