BDF soldier dies from burns Print E-mail
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Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00

Rodolfo Martinez, a 27 year-old soldier from the Belize Defence Force, died on Monday, February 12 from burn injuries he suffered at his home in Big Falls, Toledo. Martinez had an unfortunate accident in which his body caught fire simply because he walked past his mother’s stove, which was lit.

Martinez’s mother, Teresa, told the press that on Saturday evening, February 10, at around 6 o’clock her son was at their home in Big Falls Village. He had returned from active duty in the Cayo District, and he was preparing to do some yard work for his mother on the following day. So, he was tinkering with his lawnmower, cleaning it and preparing it for the job. While doing this, he unfortunately came into contact with gasoline from the mower’s engine.

Teresa Martinez described the frightening scene of how her son’s body caught on fire, and sharing the details with the press was clearly a struggle. According to her, Rodolfo walked past the lit stove, on his way inside the house; she was cooking rice. Suddenly, the flames from the stove jumped to his body, which had on gasoline. It happened so quickly, and before the two of them could react, his flesh started to burn uncontrollably.

Teresa Martinez said that she did the best she could to put out the flames, and she threw water on him, hoping it would help. He was rushed to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, and he was later transported to the KHMH where the doctors attempted to treat him for the severe burn injuries he suffered. 2 days later, on February 12, he passed away at the hospital while undergoing treatment.

Rodolfo Martinez was only just starting his life as a young adult. Last month, he and his wife had their wedding ceremony. He also has two young children whom he now leaves behind, a 4 year-old daughter, and a 9-month-old son. He was employed with the BDF for 4 years; he was to return to active duty on the day of his tragic passing.