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Claims of 'illicit' use of fire extinguisher

Claims of 'illicit' use of fire extinguisher

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Claims of 'illicit' use of fire extinguisher

A business owner in Lowlands Estate was not told why he had to evacuate his premises, despite there being what Guernsey Police later referred to as a “potentially explosive” situation.

Braye Road was closed for a couple hours and several businesses evacuated yesterday afternoon, after noxious gasses were emitted while a pressurised fire extinguisher was being deactivated.

Bodyworks Gym is one of a cluster of businesses in close vicinity to security firm G4S, which reported the incident to the police around 15:30.

Bodyworks owner Alex Anderson said police officers entered the building and told him to evacuate “as soon as possible”.


Pictured: Alex Anderson owns Bodyworks, which was evacuated. 

“I asked the officer if he could tell me why, and he said he couldn’t tell me why, it was confidential.

“He said that 'all I can say is that it is a dangerous situation and you need to evacuate as soon as possible'.”

“My first priority is the safety of my customers.”

There were around 10 members in the gym at the time – many of whom asked why they were being evacuated.

“I think some of them were not quite sure if I was being serious. I had to stress that it was imperative that they get out of here,” said Mr Anderson.

“Obviously the police had their own reasons why [for not explaining the cause for the evacuation], but I was a little stymied and concerned. My first priority is the safety of my customers.”

After exiting the building himself, Mr Anderson saw a number of G4S staff outside and struck up a conversation with one of them. 

“He said that, in the course of his duties, one of the G4S employees was dealing with a rather dodgy looking fire extinguisher and he started to feel giddy.”

In their statement, Guernsey Police said it was suspected that the extinguisher “may have been used in the manufacture of illicit substances”.


Pictured: Braye Road was closed to traffic at both ends. 

Mr Anderson said it was mentioned to him that fire extinguishers can be used as portable meth laboratories.

“That’s something I didn’t know about at all - to what extent or how they are used for that purpose,” said Mr Anderson. 

The “items” involved in the incident were recovered by the emergency services and the estate was cleared by police at around 17:45.

Pictured top: Image by Sam Dodd. 


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Posted by PC Load Letter on
Might have been ammonia. Also a telltale sign is blue corrosion on the valve.
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