SYDNEY, May 26 (NNN-AAP) – A major fire broke out at a building, in the suburb of Surry Hills in central Sydney, yesterday afternoon.
Fire and Rescue New South Wales (NSW) said, emergency calls were received when flames started engulfing the building, just after 4:00 p.m. local time. More than 100 firefighters and over 30 fire trucks worked on the scene to contain and extinguish the blaze.
The building partially collapsed, while the inferno spread to several neighbouring buildings, including residential apartments.
At least one vehicle in the vicinity has been destroyed by fire.
The fire and rescue service also urged the public to avoid the area, as firefighting operations continued.
“When we first got there, there was a couple of small flames coming out of windows, from the bottom of the building, and then it escalates just two minutes later. You can literally feel the heat of the fire,” said Cassie da Silva, who was hanging out with two friends in a park nearby.
She said that, when the building collapsed, there were firefighters underneath and you could see them running away while screaming “get away.”
Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent, Adam Dewberry, said, the fire began on level three of the building, according to a report by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News.
“We got the fire on the third level of what we believe is a seven-level block. We have people evacuating and firefighters entering this building to fight this fire,” he said.
Acting commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW, Jeremy Fewtrell, said, the fire had been contained, but there’s still a significant amount of material within those two buildings still burning.
“It’ll take us several hours. I expect we’ll have crews working on the scene throughout the night, probably into the morning tomorrow (today),” he said.
“Thankfully, all the surrounding residents and members of the community passing by have not reported any injuries that we’re aware of.”
A firefighter suffered a small minor burn on the arm and received treatment from the ambulance paramedics.
Fewtrell said, the cause of the fire is still unknown at this stage, and fire investigators are already working on the scene, gathering early witness reports of what people saw at the first stage of the fire.– NNN-AAP