Fire officials have recovered the bodies of four family members after a fire swept through a building in the San Pedro community, a town on the southern part of the island of Ambergris Caye, a senior official of the National Fire Service has said.
Station manager Orin Smith said that fire officials had responded to reports of a structural fire in the Escalante subdivision area of San Pedro Town during the early hours of Tuesday.
“We had two units dispatched to that area. On arrival, we found two structures engulfed in flames. During the overhaul phase of the operation, we discovered four bodies that were said to be missing earlier,” Smith told reporters.
Media reports have described the blaze as the deadliest fire in over a decade.
The authorities have given the names of those killed as Clara Bacab, her 14-year-old son Allan Nunez and six-year-old Mia Nunez as well as her niece, 16-year-old Shirley Bacab, who had just recently relocated to the island and had been living with the family for nearly a month.
The authorities said that they were all trapped inside the upper flat of the wooden and concrete house.
Bacab’s husband, and their 16-year-old son managed to escape the burning building by jumping through a window.
Health officials said that David and Samir Nunez suffered various degree burns and smoke inhalation and have since been hospitalised in the capital.
Smith said that the cause of the fire is yet to be determined even as some of the tenants in the building say it may have been caused by a golf cart.
“Of course I cannot confirm or deny that; we are still awaiting the outcome of the actual investigation,” he added.