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January 2002 issue Pharmacy Today magazine


Bethlehem Pharmacy has served its Tauranga community for more than 30 years, but now all that is left are boarded-up windows and smoke-stained bricks.

A fire broke out in the pharmacy on the evening of January 19. Witnesses said a mobility scooter at the front of the store erupted into flames, and within seconds, fire had raced through the building, claiming almost everything in its path.

When firefighters arrived, the building and its contents were already lost as flames shot metres into the air, accompanied by the explosions of hundreds of aerosol cans. The fire also affected neighbouring businesses, causing primarily smoke damage.

However, pharmacy owner Mark Arundel was able to re-open the following Monday in a makeshift dispensary in the adjoining dental practice. He remains positive following the fire, as they were able to save patient records, and no one was injured.

The former owner of two central Tauranga pharmacies, Mark Arundel bought Bethlehem pharmacy only two months ago.

The losses run far deeper than money, he says, but hundreds of family photos waiting to be collected did survive.

He hopes the pharmacy will be rebuilt within two to three months.

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