Fire and Shooting Lead to Mayhem on Wenceslas Square Yesterday

An historic Prague hotel and a “western” gun store off the square saw heavy police and fire brigade activity yesterday

Prague’s city center saw a heavy police and fire brigade presence yesterday after a hotel fire in the neighborhood led to the evacuation of guests and a fatal shooting claimed the life of a would-be robber.

The first incident took place yesterday afternoon when a shooting occurred on Opletalova Street following a man’s attempt to rob an arms shop at knife point.

The attacker was wounded by a gunshot; the clerk suffered stab wounds. The suspect apparently succumbed to his injuries later in a Prague hospital, according to The clerk is said to be recovering.

Following the shooting, Opletalova Street was partially closed and under patrol by policemen with machine guns.

On Monday evening, at nearby Hotel Juliš on Václavské nám. 22, Prague firefighters evacuated about 70 guests from the building, according to Czech news server

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Officials say the source of the fire was faulty wiring in the basement of the historic hotel.

The fire spread to the upper floors, but firefighters managed to get it under control; no report yet on the extent of the damage, although repairs will be necessary.

The hotel is on the front side facing the square, adjacent to the back of the Franciscan Garden. It was built in Prague by famous coffee house operator Karel Juliš. The functionalist architect of the building, which is registered on the list of cultural monuments, was Pavel Janák. 

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