Cause of downtown Queenstown fire still unconfirmed

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A vat in Queenstown’s Fat Badgers pizza restaurant may have caused Friday’s devastating fire in The World Bar building in Queenstown.
 
Fire Service area manager Keith McIntosh says the official cause of the fire, which decimated both Fat Badgers and The World Bar on the floor above, hasn’t been finally determined: “Our fire investigator is working with two insurance fire investigators.” 

However, McIntosh says the vat in the newly-furnished ground-floor pizza restaurant is under suspicion – “I understand they’ve taken the vat out.” 

It’s understood there was also a kitchen fire at Fat Badgers three days earlier, but McIntosh says “we’ve got no reason to support any connection”. 

A report in today’s Sunday Star Times says fire extinguishers used by staff to quell that fire hadn’t been recharged by Friday. 

Asked to respond, McIntosh says: “That hasn’t been substantiated yet.” 

McIntosh repeats his praise for the efforts of at least 35 firefighters: “They did a really great job – they were determined to get in there and prevent it from spreading to other buildings.” 

While reiterating that there’s no legal requirement for a building like this to have fire sprinklers, the area manager says they’re certainly desirable. 

“Certainly sprinklers [make for] much safer buildings.” 

McIntosh expects the official cause of Friday’s fire will be determined this week.