88 San Pedro residents affected by devastating fire

Monday, June 27th, 2016

As many as 88 residents have been left homeless after a devastating fire gutted through 17 homes shortly after midnight on Monday, June 27th.

11 buildings were totally destroyed, of which 8 were businesses and 3 were family homes. 6 buildings were partially destroyed. 27 families, totaling 88 people, have been affected by the most devastating fire San Pedro has seen in recent history. 21 families (68 people) lost everything.

Fire Pescador Drive El Dorado Buccaneer Street-32

Fire Pescador Drive El Dorado Buccaneer Street-1

The fire roared through wooden and concrete buildings on Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street as the San Pedro Fire Department and the ever-present bucket brigade frantically tried to get it under control.

Fire Pescador Drive El Dorado Buccaneer Street-18

By 4AM, the fire was brought under control, but not after it had caused major damage. According to Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott, upon receiving the call around 12:30AM, Police and Fire personnel arrived at the scene where they observed the rear part of El Dorado Store engulfed in fire. At about 8:30AM, the fire had passed, stopping just short of Graniel’s Dreamland. Police are calling it an act of arson.

Fire Pescador Drive El Dorado Buccaneer Street-40

Fire Pescador Drive El Dorado Buccaneer Street-37

As of this morning, the displaced families have been put up at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School to shelter. Power has not been restored to the surrounding area, and people are being urged to stay out of the burn location as cleanup efforts are under way.

Fire Pescador Drive El Dorado Buccaneer Street-39

Donations are desperately needed, as entire families are now homeless and will have to start all over. Items needed include practical clothing and canned food, household items, towels, pots, pans, silverware, sheets, pillows, toys, toiletries (including sanitary items), toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.

UPDATE: Baby items are desperately needed as well: wipes, diapers, formula, etc. As people have no way to cook, instant meals such as cereals and milk are much appreciated.

Drop-off locations:

The San Pedro Lions Den
San Pedro Roman Catholic School
San Pedro Town Council
Crazy Canuck’s
Sandbar (Food Bank)
Palapa Bar has a box set up for donations

The South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch is collecting cash donations via their website.

Tropic Air Belize has opened its Cargo section to ship donations from all over the country: “If you wish to donate to those affected, you can drop your item(s) off at any Tropic Air Cargo station in Belize, and we will make sure it gets to those affected FREE of charge. If the donation is for a particular family, we ask that it be properly packaged (no over-sized boxes or items please) and labeled “Family ________, Fire Donation“. If it is a general donation, we ask that it be labeled “Fire Relief“, and we will take it from there.”

Maya Island Air “Management and Staff have begun a relief drive to assist those affected and we encourage our partners and friends to do the same. If you wish to donate articles of clothing, linens, canned goods, toys and the like, kindly package and label them accordingly, and drop them off at your nearest Maya Island Air Cargo Station. Maya will be flying this relief freight at no charge, so feel free to spread the word and donate to those affected on San Pedro. *For consideration, we are requesting no over-sized packages. Our hearts go out to you all and we hope you will recover and become stronger each day!”

Caribbean Queen Marine Services and Caribbean Depot of San Pedro Ambergris Caye will be providing FREE ocean freight and delivery services of donations from the Belize City Port to the island. You can contact Alex Eiley at 670-2271 for coordinating. Items meant for particular victims that are too heavy or large which cannot be delivered by the airlines should have the names of the persons written on the packages or items and sent to the Belize City Port.

Lighthouse Christian Radio’s Clive Welch is offering counseling services. He can be located at the radio station located on the second floor of the building at the corner of Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street (above Casa Pan Dulce’s outlet).

The San Pedro Sun will continue updating readers as new information becomes available.

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