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Residential Neighborhood Fire - Bajo Lino, Boquete, June 29th


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Marcelyn and I had to make an unplanned trip to David earlier today for business reasons. On the way back to Boquete, literally while at the Caldera checkpoint, the older policeman signaled -- energetically -- for me "adelante, rapido". The adelante part was expected, but the "rapido" part caught my attention. Within a fraction of a second I then heard a siren behind me. We pulled away from the inspection area and then a fire truck went through the inspection area with the blue lights flashing and the siren wailing. Certainly an unusual scenario.

All of this began earlier today, Saturday, June 29th, about 11:45AM.

Also interesting was the fact that the fire truck was black, as in solid black. Never in my life have I seen a black fire truck. Red, green, various shades of blue, etc., yes, but solid black was a first for me (and for Marcelyn). The sign on the back of the fire truck said "Cambria". Marcelyn noticed a logo on the side of the truck as it passed us, but I was keeping my eyes forward.

Below picture is of the black fire truck just after it had passed us, a bit north of the Caldera checkpoint station.

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Okay, a bit of excitement, but we thought that was the end of it.

Then as we pass through Bajo Boquete to continue on to the El Santuario area where we live, we noticed some smoke off to the right. The smoke was in the area known as Bajo Lino, which is after the Los Naranjos/Alto Lino "Y" intersection (we take to the Alto Lino route to get to our home). As we began curving around toward the right it was clear that there was at least one building on fire. We eventually had to slow down because of the pedestrians looking down from the roadway, and one car had been stopped and abandoned for the looky lou people to do their thing. We took some pictures, which are posted below. The following pictures were taken about 12:10PM.

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One person told us three homes were on fire. However, given that we could not safely move forward Marcelyn looked very carefully at the area and concluded that three buildings (they did not appear to be residences) were involved in smoke. The black fire truck that had passed us was there on scene, along with one red fire truck (presumably the Boquete Bomberos fire truck). We presume that the Boquete Bomberos called for assistance.

We did not see any open flames, but there was a lot of smoke. We saw no ambulances.

After we got home, we checked with Google to see what the significance of the word "Cambria" might be, and low and behold we found not only that word, but also the exact same font used on the back of the black fire truck, as well as the logo/symbol that was on the right door of the black fire truck. Here is that information from Google:

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There sure were a lot of unusual and interesting things happening today on our way home from David. We presume that there were no human casualties, given the absence of ambulance, and no urgent expressions on people's faces.

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Late yesterday afternoon we drove by the area where this fire was located. To us, it appeared that there was only one house that was affected, and fairly substantially.

We do not know, but from what appeared to be a torched sofa now located in the front yard in front of a window, one might conjecture that someone fell asleep while smoking. Sad.

The houses in that neighborhood are built very close to each other, and so we think it was very fortunate that other structures were not damaged.

We have no information as to injuries, if any.

That house now is uninhabitable. Don't know if it is salvageable.

Here are some pictures, taken in between the rain drops.

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Looks like a pretty intense fire. Looks like the metal roof suffered extensive heat damage.   The concrete block is all intact, but it looks like a flashover fire occured inside. Everything flammable inside the house would have caught fire. They have my sympathy.

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