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Greenwood bar owner says businesses hit by explosion are targeted by crooks

A natural gas explosion March 9, 2016 destroyed multiple businesses and injured several firefighters. (AP)

Tim Pipes was ready to throw in the final bar rag.

After a gas explosion rocked his popular Greenwood hockey bar, the Angry Beaver, last month, some burglars added salt to the wound over the weekend by breaking in through the back door and stealing booze and other supplies.

Related: Greenwood explosion photo gallery

He told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson his is not the only damaged business that has been targeted by thieves.

“What we’ve found out was that pretty much every business down our stretch has boarded up windows … has been targeted at night and they’ve come in through the backdoor,” he said.

Pipes listed four other recovering Greenwood businesses that have been targeted.

“They’ve obviously cased the place out and had a plan of action of what they were going to do,” he said.

Pipes was in the bar with a few others during a natural gas explosion that destroyed multiple businesses and injured nine firefighters. Miraculously nobody was killed.

Pipes said he saw the initial ignition out of the corner of his eye.

“There was a 50-foot wide fireball coming at me followed a half-second behind by the explosion itself,” he said. “Which at that point, bottles of booze went flying off the bar, the ceiling started coming down, glasses started coming off the shelves. It was a nightmare.

“This day and age, with the world and what happened in Paris and so forth, you’re initial thought it was a bomb that had gone off,” he added. “It was the scariest thing I will ever deal with in my life.”

Pipes said the robbery was like “getting kicked in the head” and that he nearly decided to close down.

“When I got there I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I did get very emotional and there was part of me that was like I can’t do this anymore. If you’ve worked in small business you know, especially in the restaurant bar business, the profit margin is very, very tiny. If anything goes wrong, there is nothing leftover.”

Pipes said he woke up the next day with renewed resolve and plans to continue serving as the “only hockey bar in the Pacific Northwest.”

“I will be back better than ever and I hope to be back in time for the Stanley Cup playoffs,” he said.

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