No one hurt in Kiwi House fire
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 12:15p.m.
By Kim Choe
A barbecue fire at Kiwi House in London has charred more than just a few sausages.
The hundreds of New Zealanders toasting our latest medal successes escaped unharmed when two gas cylinders exploded, but the same can't be said for the garden bar.
It was the Olympic flame no one wanted to see lit. Kiwi House was having a busy night when an outdoor barbecue caught fire at around 7:20pm London time.
"We were just watching the javelin, and then all of a sudden we were told to get out of there," says eyewitness Craig Renshaw.
"By the time we walked out of there, there was a huge blaze in the barbecue."
Witnesses say the fire grew quickly. The chef recognised the danger of gas bottles and immediately raised the alarm.
"The chef was fully aware and very responsible, and made sure that he secured the area, got people out," says Kereyn Smith, New Zealand Olympic Committee.
"It's in a large square, Granary Square, and people piled out of the exit pretty quickly," says witness Andrew Scott, "but also we pulled down a few fences to allow people to escape quicker."
Shortly afterwards, two gas bottles exploded. Emergency services say people could easily have been hurt.
"A gas canister is a lump of metal with pressurised gas in it," says Inspector Martin Colligan of London Police.
"Clearly there could be injuries in a situation like that, which is why we've got the cordons in place now. We're not taking any chances… which is why we're going to have an investigation to find out exactly what it was that caused that."
The now-homeless Kiwis seemed relaxed about the drama.
"My girlfriend came in and she was like, 'Move out of the way, move out of the way, there's a gas bottle on fire!' And I was like, 'Well, I need to get me card, and I want to get some sauce for my pie,'" one witness told 3 News.
Their main concern now is where they'll gather to watch the rest of the Games. Kiwi House says it's too soon to know if they'll be able to reopen before the Closing Ceremony in four days' time.
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9/08/2012 4:43:27 p.m.
donna lisa wrote:
blame it on an ozzie,!!
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