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Local News Summary of January, 28th

  • Elderly man in critical condition following fire in Lörrach
  • “Fümoar” founder and “Pinguin” bar owner, Mario Nanni, is thinking about retirement
  • Police seek witnesses after near-miss in Rheinfelden

Elderly man in critical condition following fire in Lörrach

A 76-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital after inhaling smoke during a fire in an apartment block in Lörrach on Friday evening.

The emergency services received reports that a resident was still inside the burning apartment. A short time later however it emerged that the elderly man was in fact standing outside with other evacuated tenants.

It was initially thought he had only been slightly injured due to smoke poisoning, but his conditioned worsened and he remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The fire brigade were able to extinguish the fire by 7.20pm although the apartment has been completely destroyed. The cause of the blaze is under investigation by the Lörrach police, who say a defective appliance cannot be ruled out. The damage has been estimated at around 50,000 Euros.

“Fümoar” founder and “Pinguin” bar owner, Mario Nanni, is thinking about retirement

Mario Nanni’s bar currently offers 108 beers from 30 countries – and of course, every beer is served in its corresponding glass.

The bar resembles a museum. Hundreds of beer kegs are hanging from the ceiling or are on display in glass cases. No matter what your taste in beer may be, you will not be disappointed here. Mario Nanni even knows what to serve people who do not like beer. “Most of them don’t like the bitter taste,” he said, pulling out a Belgian peach beer from underneath the counter. This is the perfect beverage for all beer haters, he claimed. A beer which is slightly sweet. And so far, everyone who tried it has been pleasantly surprised, he said. Mr Nanni himself also prefers sweeter beers.

But after 38 years as proprietor of the “Pinguin” bar (28 of which it has existed as a speciality beers bar), the 68-year-old is slowly thinking about retirement. However, he is also struggling to find a successor. Many people are interested, but they lack the funds.

There is still one big dream that Mr Nanni wants to become reality: A beer museum for his collection of more than 6,000 beer-related objects. He would like to donate all of them to a potential foundation. Yet there is also the sad example of the Sports Museum, which no longer receives any Federal support: “The Federal Government and the canton will give money to anyone and for anything, but they have no heart for sports culture.”

Inventor of the “Fümoar”

Mario Nanni became a legend among Basel’s licensees in 2010 when he founded the “Fümoar” association, which was created as a counter-movement to the economic consequences of the partial smoke ban introduced in Basel’s restaurants. Only guests who could show their “Fümoar” pass (which they acquired by becoming passive members of the association) were allowed to enter the 180 participating “Fümoar” restaurants in Basel.

In its fourth year, “Fümoar” counted 196,300 registered members. All of them were allowed to smoke in the restaurants that were now listed as private pubs. But after various political and legal defeats, the biggest Basel association ever had to give up and was disbanded in 2015. This was a bitter loss for the almost 200,000 members.

It remains open whether Mario Nanni will now manage to turn his dream of a Basel beer museum into reality. The old brewery house of the Feldschlösschen brewery in Rheinfelden is currently empty and could be a potential home. In the worst case scenario, Mr Nanni will donate his collection to one of the already-existing beer museums of Switzerland. For now, his dreams are but pipe dreams – even though delicious beer is flowing through them.

Police seek witnesses after near-miss in Rheinfelden

The police are looking for witnesses after a driver was forced to swerve to avoid a head-on collision on Inzlingerstrasse in Riehen on Thursday afternoon.

An unidentified vehicle was overtaking a cyclist when the driver apparently swerve onto the opposite carriageway. 

 A female driver travelling in the opposite direction had to swerve and consequently collided with the pavement, damaging her car.

Anyone who can provide relevant information about the cause of the accident is asked to contact the local traffic police.