‘Substantial and very prolonged’: Fire and Rescue NSW warn extended firefighting efforts needed to extinguish central Sydney fire | Englishheadline


Firefighting efforts to extinguish the blaze that broke out in a central Sydney building on Thursday afternoon are expected to continue overnight, Fire and Rescue New South Wales have advised.

FRNSW Acting Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell told reporters that although the fire was now contained to the multistorey building in Surry Hills, it could take a long time to put out the flames.

“The fire is now effectively contained but it will be a substantial and very prolonged duration of firefighting to extinguish the fire,” Mr Fewtrell said.

“I expect that we’ll be here all night and into the morning.

“It will take us, as I said, several hours to finish extinguishing the fire once that’s done and then we can make assessments on the safety to enter the scene and conduct an examination.”

The inferno has been upgraded to a 10th alarm status by FRNSW, which the agency classifies as the most severe type of fire.

More than 30 fire trucks and 120 firefighters are working rapidly on the scene in both aerial and ground-locked capabilities.

Mr Fewtrell detailed that ladder platforms were at play to elevate fire extinguishing apparatus and direct water at the blaze directly from above.

“A combination of aerial attack and ground monitor attack are at work at the moment,” he said.

Emergency crews received the first reports of the fire just after 4pm on Thursday.

The flames are believed to have started on level three of the seven-storey building on Randle Street, before rapidly engulfing the whole brick structure.

Another older terrace-style building nearby was also involved, and the fire jumped over to a balcony of a nearby apartment before being extinguished.

Parts of the brick walls from the high-rise came crashing down on the streets as one side of the structure collapsed.

Mr Fewtrell said the building had “undergone extensive damage and stress” with engineers set to attend the site soon to “help guide our decisions around safety considerations.

Authorities have confirmed no members of the public were injured in the ordeal, although one firefighter sustained a non-life-threatening burn to his arm.

No occupants are believed to have been in the building at the time.

Residents of surrounding buildings have been evacuated and those in the broader vicinity are being encouraged to take extreme precaution around the heavy fumes being emitted in the area.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

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