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11th AUGUST 1997


DAMAGED…The Thomas' front room, cleared of debris after a fireball ripped through it. The couple declined to be photographed.


OLD CROSS FIRE – Family fled exploding bottles.

A BLAZE which left an Ammanford town centre pub wrecked is not being treated as arson.

The Old Cross Inn, in the town's High Street, was partially destroyed in a fire in the early hours of Wednesday December 17.

A spokesman for Ammanford police told the Guardian this week that they were not now treating the incident as suspicious.

Pub landlady, Margaret Hal, 51, her boyfriend, Gwynfor Mangan, 33, and her son, Grant Challinor, 23, escaped the conflagration by clambering onto a flat roof on the Quay Street side.

All three squeezed through a window onto the roof to avoid the flames as bottles of spirits exploded with the searing heat.

Firefighters, some wearing breathing apparatus, fought their way through smoke and flames inside the building. One was later treated for smoke inhalation.

Local fire engines arrived on the scene at 1 am and fire crews battled the blaze more than three hours.

The ground-floor section of the pub, including bar and lounge, restaurant area, kitchen, and toilets, were all destroyed in the fire.

Large areas of the building upper floor were smoke damaged.

Police later cordoned off the building which was checked over by forensic experts.

















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