28 left homeless after fire on Glyn Street- NEMO and CEMO quick to aid families affected Print E-mail
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Thursday, 18 January 2018 00:00

An early morning fire on Glyn Street has left 8 families, a total of 28 persons, displaced and in need of clothes and other basic necessities. Just after 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, police officers responded to this fire.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers observed an unpainted two-story board house with zinc roofing engulfed in flames. That fire would spread to two other buildings in the vicinity which were being utilized by separate families. The fire was extinguished by personnel from the Fire Department but unfortunately, none of the families managed to save much.

Justin Miranda, a 42-year-old construction worker that was renting one of the homes, recounts that just after midnight while sleeping, he was awoken by the smell of smoke. He got up and observed that an abandoned house, property of deceased Hipolito Bautista, was on fire. The fire spread and a total of three structures were completely destroyed. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. None of the structures were insured and fortunately, no one was injured.

Members of the Belize City Council were also on the scene. In an effort to get the families as close to a state of normalcy as possible, NEMO as well as CEMO has made some donations and pledges as early as the afternoon of Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Each family was given a standard NEMO package which entails mattresses, about 3 per family, tabletop stoves as well as gas tanks, sheets, cleaning materials, and food packages. Most of the items were given as one-time donations but food supplies will be donated in a more frequent fashion.

The families met with CitCo, Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of NEMO, and the Department of Human Services to give details of the fire. The department has pledged to cover between 1 and 3 month’s rent for the families that have since been displaced. For the time being, most of the families have been placed at dorms at the MCC facility, made possible through the assistance of Ian Jones, Director of Sports Council. Two families are staying with family members. Hon. Castro gave a brief talk to the victims and basically highlighted the help they can look forward to.

Councilor Phillip Willoughby has used this time to highlight the prevalence of abandoned and derelict buildings and the potential threat they pose. He stressed the necessary process of taking down such structures. The public is advised that donations may be made through the City Council.