Ambergris was abuzz today with talk of the fire that displaced 75-84 people (exact number still to be determined) in the Boca Del Rio, San Juan area late last night. The fire broke out Just north-west of the Train Station Gym and behind Compadres bar on the lagoon side of town.
The community is springing into action fast, food, clothing, and hygiene donations are being accepted at Hope Haven Shelter (across from Maya Island Air). Colleen’s Kitchen at the shelter will be providing 3 meals a day for at least a week, along with fruits and snacks for the kids.
When I messaged Karen Brodie to get permission to use her devastating fire pictures, she also gave me a few details to share with you.
“The blaze started around 1:00 am. It seems like it was arson according to Manuel Heredia. A fight was going on in the house where the fire started according to neighbors. It was an incredibly hot fire, literally an inferno. Even when I first got there and wasn’t brave enough to get real close I could feel the heat from it and I was worried about explosions.”
A preliminary breakdown of people rendered homeless by the fire (official breakdown still to be determined):
It is being said the total number of people affected by the fire is closer to 75 people, I have however left the initial breakdown numbers Karen gave me below as it is possible that few people will still register
- 25 men
- 34 women
- 25 to 30 kids
“I am waiting to hear how the top lady cop is doing. She hurt herself there when they were moving the hose. Two guys had to carry her out. She said she didn’t jump fast enough. She has to have her foot or ankle X-rayed this morning and said she would let me know how it is.
Irvin Navarrete was helping and got burns on his back and his iPhone is done from getting wet. His burns are not real bad he says. He and Jovan Ayuso and Paul Reyes were there helping. He fell on the hot zinc. He went right into the burning building with others. He thought he was going to die. He doesn’t even live there, just went to help. He left for to Corozal to hug his kids.
“When I returned home to start editing my pictures, my slippers and my clothes stunk like smoke.”
Karen also said it was hard to tell the exact number of structures but said it may be as many as 10 homes including multi-family structures. Currently, all families will be staying at Hope Haven Shelter.
Sadly, this was a big one and guaranteed there will be fundraising happening soon and likely in the form of a telethon to help those affected by the fire. There is a Hope Haven Affiliated Paypal page that is taking immediate online donations for the San Pedro Fire Victims.
I will leave you with a few pictures of the tragic event taken by Karen Brodie (feature image and top 3 pictures) and Jenna Sullivan (lower 6).
These next few pictures came in courtesy of Jenna Sullivan. She and her husband Herman stopped by on their way home from working at Coconut Leo’s after his recent unfortunate house fire. Sadly 2018 has been a bad year for fires on Ambergris Caye.