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Going for gold in London & ending up with orange. New Zealand team finds hopes doused by British.

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Okay, my headline may be a bit misleading, but how about these describing the scene in the video above: “Kiwi House closed after ‘massive’ blaze” or “New Zealand Olympic fans in fire terror after huge Kiwi House BBQ explosion”.

I don’t see anything massive or find a lot of terror in the eyes of those around this fire in this video that begins four minutes before the arrival of the London Fire Brigade. Everyone seems to know it is not a bomb and are reasonably cool about it even after one of the propane bottles explodes at about 2:55 in the video. Okay, there were some high pitched shrieks and some laughter when that occurred. A second blast clip is at the bottom of this post.

The Olympic flame burns brightly at Kiwi House in London a gathering place for New Zealanders.

As you will see in the video above, the British team needs to work on reach and penetration if they really want Olympic gold in this event four years from now. But it probably didn’t make much of a difference to the outcome.

Here’s the view of some of the other judges (I am sure our special international team of judges known as KICs will also be scoring this event).

Kim Choe, 3News, New Zealand:

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.


Emergency services attended Kiwi House near King’s Cross in central London at about 19:20 BST, after a gas canister being used for a barbecue exploded.

Two fire engines and 10 firefighters attended the scene. London Ambulance Service said one person had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

A London Fire Brigade said it believed two gas cylinders had exploded.

Hundreds of New Zealanders who have come to London for the Games had gathered for a party before the blaze started. 

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