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Case Ref : 20151201, Sandells, Brian
A fire which brought the city to a standstill for two days and claimed the life of much loved shop owner Brian Sandells was caused by a faulty television, an inquest has heard.
More than 55 fire-fighters, 11 engines and two aerial ladder platforms battled the blaze which broke out st Kard Bar at Kard on Cross Street in Newcastle city centre in December last year.
As the fire was brought under control the tragic news filtered through that Mr Sandells, 81, who had owned the shop since the 1980s, had been living inside and had been killed in the blaze.
There is a whole back story to this where Northumbria Police were cracking down on the sale of "Legal Highs."
Rightly or wrongly these substances were still legal at the time but the police were using bordering on fascist tactics to enforce their will.
A number of what you call "Head-Shops" around the Newcastle area were being shut down and a local take away had their license revoked.
The Kard Bar was one of those premises which was being targeted by police on a regular basis. Brian Sandall had run a shop in the "Handyside Arcade" since the 60's and had then moved down near the bottom of Westgate Road on Cross Street.
Amid all the crackdown on "Legal Highs" on the morning of December 1st 2015 an inferno engulfed the Kard Bar at around 8.45 AM. Mr Sandall was burned to death inside the building.
Since then the reporting on this tragedy has followed the similar well trodden path which seems to be the norm these days where you are told nothing.
So far the inquest is blaming the fire on an electric fire which was left on right beside an old mattress which throws up it's own suspicions in my book.
Given the climate and the back story at the time of the events there could be something in this.
Like I said previously we shall have to wait to see if anything else comes to light but the local media seem to be putting the story on the back burner and staying somewhat quiet.