Tragedy strikes again for residents of the Boca del Rio Area, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye as a blaze destroyed around ten structures that included homes and apartment complexes. The incident has left approximately 80 people displaced from their homes. The fire occurred in the exact location where a previous blaze burnt down an apartment complex four years ago, this time, leaving the same families homeless again!
Preliminary reports from the San Pedro Fire and Police Departments indicate that they responded to the report of a house fire at about 1:38a.m. on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Fire personnel under the command of Gladstone Bucknor were immediately dispatched to the area. Residents indicated that the fire department arrived in due time but again suffered under faulty equipment which prevented them to properly start battling the fire.
Due to the proximity of the homes to each other and high winds the fire spread quickly leaving ten structures completely destroyed and three partially damaged. Low water pressure from the town’s water supply also presented a problem in collecting water. Sadly not much could be done to save all the homes in the area; the fire stopped spreading where home were farther apart from each other.
The fire was brought under control about 4:26 a.m., by firefighters who were assisted by civilians who came to their aid with buckets and water hoses from nearby homes. Although there were many upset that police officers were removing people from the area, Superintendent Reymundo Reyes (new Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit - Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker) stated that this was done for the safely of everyone. He said they were protecting people from the high heat, fire and extreme smoke inhalation as the conditions in the area were extreme.
Initial investigation reveals that the fire initiated from an apartment owned by Angela with other particulars still unknown at this time. Police are investigating and possibly treating the case as arson. Police are following leads as some residents report of an altercation between two people around the time the fire started. Still the incident is under investigation and the estimated damage are unknown.
Residents of Ambergris Caye are saddened the indecent took place during the Costa Maya Festival, a time when most are out enjoying the festivities and others working hard to make some extra income. The jovial atmosphere has most definitely been dampened knowing that many residents have lost all their belonging and their homes.