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An Orange Walk family is left wondering what they will do for Christmas after their home was destroyed by fire on Thursday night. Luckily, no lives were lost. Reporter Maria Novelo went looking for answers in the cause of the misfortune and filed this report.

Screen_Shot_2013-12-20_at_8.01.42_PMMaria Novelo – Reporting

Less than one week before Christmas, an Orange Walk family is picking up the pieces after a fast moving fire broke out at their home sometime after nine on Thursday night. Charred remains of what were the possessions of the Ramirez family were all that was left when we arrived at the scene this morning. At the time of the blaze, the house was being occupied by two females and a minor, who were awoken by the smoke.  A relative of the family recounted the tale.


“My sister called and then she told me that the house is on fire and then she manages to come out with my sister in law and my nephew and then when my mother ran to bring my brother over there it were already on fire.”


Senior Officer at the Orange Walk Fire Station, Kenneth Mortis, told us what investigations have reveled so far.


Kenneth Mortis - Senior Officer at the Orange Walk Fire Station

“We responded to a fire on Doctor Guerra Street and on arrival se observed a cement bungalow house totally engulf in flames, the fire department got into operation in trying to extinguish the fire and from there we did a preliminary investigation as to the cause and origin of the fire.”


“Everything, everything got lost, everything got burnt because it started from the room and then afterward they didn’t come in time and all of that and then everything catch fire into the living room and all the rest and all in the kitchen and all got burnt. We don’t really know what cause the fire, maybe something electrical, we don’t know because it started from the room so maybe definitely that was not the cause of fire. My sister in law and my nephew were are the house at the time of the fire but they didn’t got hurt because my sister was in the living room watching television and she was already dropping asleep so when she woke up she saw smoke and then she saw the room that was on fire but then she just gone with my sister in law and knock the door and then they grabbed the baby and then they came out.”

While no lives were lost, the family claims the damage might not have been so severe if dispatchers and firefighters had responded better.


“Afterwards they were calling fire station but they manage to call my uncle to find them and then when they arrive there the fire engine don’t want to start and then when they arrived at the house, then they don’t have not water.”


Kenneth Mortis - Senior Officer at the Orange Walk Fire Station

“We initially had some starting problems, these trucks are cold start so to speak but ones it kicks it kicks so when we responded we responded with two trucks and these trucks only carry 200 gallons of water, that is a combination of 400 gallons but in order for us to effectively fight firefighting we need  to fill out our length of hoses and now each of this hoses carry 30 gallons of water, thirty times two sixty minus two hundred that is one hundred and forty gallon, one hundred and forty gallons of water will give operations say three minutes tops.  It is a continuous allegation between the fire department and the public that our truck responded to fire scene with a little bit of water, we don’t try to go into a back and forth situation we are here to serve the public and that is what we try to do at the best of what we know how and the best of what we have, these truck are twenty years old and mechanical problems do arise from time to time, we have also been bombarded for the fact that the trucks that we have are too small, all these faults have been reported by myself to my superior in Belize City who can then take it up with the ministry, it is a sad situation and a sad fact, but the reality is that until somebody above me can provide the town of Orange Walk with two larger truck that carries a much more larger gallons of water capacity then the fact of the matter is this is what we have to deal with.”

Meanwhile, the house was not insured and the structure and its contents were totaled in the blaze.

Fire officials say that there is no proof to support arson and determined that the cause of the fire was an electrical shortage but their investigations continue. The estimated damage and loss is yet to be ascertained. Owner of the House is well known business person Maria Ramirez who has family ties with the Enramada Ceviche Hut in Orange Walk.

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