Blaze that routed 28 persons blamed on overheated wire

ire officials are blaming an overheated electrical wire for the blaze Wednesday that swept through four low-income homes in Barrio Cuba.

The area is called El Pochote. Two other homes suffered damages. Fire investigators recovered an electrical cable that is believed to have been the cause. Electrical problems rank high in Costa Rica as the origin of fires.

Some 22 adults and six children were made homeless by the blaze.

The Cuerpo de Bomberos said that no one was home in the dwelling when the fire started. Investigators reported that the wire was connected to a ceiling light and that the high wires ignited some ceiling material which fell on a bed and began the blaze.

Firemen faced all sorts of trouble in fighting the blaze. There were no hydrants and access to the homes was via a three-foot-wide path, far too small for fire equipment.

The homes have metal sheets for roofs and for some walls, so the heat was concentrated within.

The Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social said it was providing rented homes for those who suffered a total loss and also necessities such as mattresses and personal items.

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