NAPLES DAILY NEWS

STORY #1

Fire damages Golden Gate Pharmacy

Monday, December 23, 2002

Daily News staff

A Golden Gate business lost about $300,000 worth of medicine after a fire broke out Saturday night, fire officials said.

A blaze at Golden Gate Pharmacy, 2345 Collier Boulevard, prompted fire crews from the Golden Gate and North Naples fire districts to respond to the blaze at a shopping center about 9 p.m. Saturday.

Smoke rose out of the pharmacy and spread throughout a portion of Pinnacle Laundramat and Sunshine Ace Hardware, which are both on each side of the pharmacy, fire officials said.

"The smoke was coming from the pharmacy and in front and rear of the building," said Dave Anderson, assistant chief with Golden Gate Fire District. "Initially, there was a lot of smoke and heat, but the fire was under control within an hour."

Anderson said the cause of the fire is under investigation but that the blaze isn't being considered suspicious. He also said Sunshine Ace Hardware and Pinnacle Laundramat received minimal smoke damage.

In addition to the $300,000 worth of destroyed medicine, the pharmacy's structural damage was $100,000, officials said.

"We'll know more about what caused the fire (today) after we get a report from the fire marshal," Anderson said.

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STORY #2 FOLLOW UP

NAPLES DAILY NEWS

Electrical glitch causes fire in Golden Gate pharmacy

Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Daily News staff

An electrical malfunction from a newly installed burglar alarm system is to blame for a fire that swept through a Golden Gate pharmacy during the weekend, authorities said Monday.

More than $300,000 in medicine was destroyed inside Golden Gate Pharmacy, 2345 Collier Blvd., following a 9 p.m. Saturday blaze that started in the rear of the store, fire officials said.

Fire Marshal Bill Sylvester with the Golden Gate fire district said an electrical glitch in the burglar alarm box, located in a back room of the pharmacy, sparked the fire.

"We have a lot of fires that start from electrical malfunction," Sylvester said Monday. "But usually it's not from a burglar alarm system. This isn't common."

Assistant Fire Chief Dave Anderson said the pharmacy owner, John Wojcik, had the burglar alarm system installed two weeks ago. Wojcik couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

Fire officials said the pharmacy sustained $100,000 damage and lost $300,000 in medicine that was destroyed.

As a result of the blaze, two adjacent businesses, Sunshine Ace Hardware and Pinnacle Laundramat, received minimal smoke damage, fire officials said.