Massive Blaze in Central Sydney Contained by Firefighters
A massive fire that engulfed a vacant seven-storey building in central Sydney has been contained, according to Fire and Rescue NSW. The blaze, which destroyed two multi-storey buildings in Surry Hills, was dubbed a “10th alarm”, the most severe type of fire. Hundreds of people were evacuated from the area as the fire burned through several levels on Randle Street near Central Station just after 4pm. More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene from multiple stations across Sydney, needing hours to battle the blaze with a combination of aerial and ground attacks.
Containment of the Fire
Firefighters have stated that they have “gained the upper hand” on the major fire, which has destroyed two multi-storey buildings in Surry Hills. The larger heritage-listed building started to collapse, with some sections of the exterior walls crumbling onto the pavement below. However, firefighters successfully stopped the blaze from engulfing other nearby buildings, including residential apartments. The organisation said in a statement issued just before 7pm that “FRNSW’s incident controller declared the fire is contained.” Operations will continue throughout the night, and an exclusion zone remains in place, with FRNSW urging the public to avoid the area.
Cause of the Fire
Initial reports suggest that the building was abandoned, but hundreds of people in nearby apartments and office buildings were evacuated. Fire alarms went off in surrounding buildings after sensing the smoke, which contributed to everyone evacuating safely. NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said earlier that the building was made out of “well seasoned and dry timber” with significant airflow between the levels, which is what caused the building to burn with such speed and intensity. The fire is believed to have started on level three.
Impact of the Fire
Authorities warned people living in the vicinity of the fire to keep their windows and doors closed to prevent potential impacts of smoke. Witnesses on the ground during the evening commute described the chaotic scene. One woman who was near Central Station at the time told 9News she was “a bit in shock.” One student said he felt a wave of heat move across his face. “It was bloody scary when it collapsed,” he said. “It was really loud, and I was scared for the people who were around there.” The wave of heat that came on my face, it was scary.”
The massive blaze in central Sydney has been contained by firefighters, who worked tirelessly for hours to battle the fire with a combination of aerial and ground attacks. While the cause of the fire is still unknown, initial reports suggest that the building was abandoned. Hundreds of people in nearby apartments and office buildings were evacuated, and authorities warned people living in the vicinity of the fire to keep their windows and doors closed to prevent potential impacts of smoke. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of fire safety measures and the bravery of firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect others.