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Facebook user alleges that the fire department took over 40 minutes to arrive at the scene of a Belize City fire; Department does not agree

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Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2022. 8:07 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Last night there was a fire on Cran Street in Belize City, which completely destroyed a two-story wooden building. In a video that was taken at the scene and uploaded to Facebook, the user that uploaded the video made harsh criticisms of the Belize National Fire Service (BNFS), including that they took over 40 minutes to arrive; however the BNFS has a different account of the event.

Station Chief Kenneth Mortis said that the building was completely engulfed in flames when fire personnel arrived; however, he maintains that their arrival time was prompt.

“We received the call at exactly 9:29 p.m. and in three minutes, we were on the scene,” Mortis said.

He categorized the fire as a “raging inferno” noting that the wood was very old and easy to burn and that the wind speed and direction made the situation more difficult.

Mortis said that their preliminary investigation revealed that the building did not have any power or furnishings as it was abandoned, and was scheduled for demolition later this year by the owner who lives in the United States.

The building is believed to be frequented by homeless people for the purpose of using drugs. Mortis said that the BNFS received similar information, but cannot say for certain what was the exact cause of the fire.

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