Huge fire damages over 200 houses, businesses in Honduran resort island - GulfToday

Huge fire damages over 200 houses, businesses in Honduran resort island


Smoke billows from a fire at a residential area on the island of Guanaja in this screengrab taken from a video on Saturday. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

A huge blaze destroyed or damaged more than 200 houses and businesses on the Honduran island of Guanaja on Saturday, forcing hundreds of residents to flee for safety and ravaging the tourism-dependent resort, relief authorities said.

Authorities on Sunday managed to bring a major fire on a tiny Honduran resort island under control. Footage taken after the inferno was brought under control showed dozens of concrete houses with no roofs and windows.

"The fire is 100 per cent controlled," said the head of the government's Permanent Intervention Commission (COPECO), Max Gonzales, at a mid-afternoon press conference.

Dramatic video footage shared on social media showed rows of seaside houses engulfed in flames and wooden homes collapsing in Guanaja, a Caribbean island about 70 kilometres off the north coast of Honduras.

"We can confirm that we have no human losses but vast material losses," said Max Gonzales. Four people were injured in the blaze, which destroyed 90 houses and damaged another 120, including some used as businesses, Gonzales said.

fire-homesSmoke billows from a fire at a residential area (L), firefighting crew cools an extinguished fire zone at Guanaja island. Reuters / AFP

A huge cloud of black smoke rose in the early morning from the island of Guanaja, located in the Caribbean off the north coast of mainland Honduras. Its 6,000 inhabitants live mainly from tourism.

Military helicopters dropped bags of water on what the island's deputy mayor Mireya Guillen described as "uncontrollable" flames.

Aided by police, people raced to save beds, furniture and other belongings as the blaze approached, video on social media showed.

Honduras-fireAerial view of Guanaja island after a fire. AFP

Videos shared by local media showed the extent of the devastation, with "90 houses destroyed, 120 damaged... 2,500 people directly affected, three injured and three others to be confirmed," Gonzales said.

The blaze also forced the evacuation of some 400 people, firefighters and other authorities added. Emergency accommodations were set up in a church and a school.

The fire started for unknown reasons in the wee hours of Saturday in seaside homes and spread quickly.