Building Fire, Rushcutters Bay

Published: 3rd February 2006

Shortly before 7.30 pm on 2 February 2006 the NSW Fire Brigades received triple zero calls reporting a building on fire in Rushcutters Bay. Due to the large number of calls, four inner-city crews were immediately responded. This committed about 25 firefighters to the incident.

The Darlinghurst crew was on the scene within five minutes to confirm smoke and flames issuing from the top floor of a two level brick building containing imported building fixtures. Firefighters wearing air cylinders entered the building to search for occupants and attack the fire. The search found that the building was unoccupied. The occurrence of a number of small explosions , forced crews to withdraw temporarily and attack the fire from outside the building. To support this strategy, two ladder trucks were used to provide elevated water streams to protect two car showrooms either side of the building while firefighters attacked the fire with hoses from the street.

Once the fire was sufficiently controlled, fire crews re-entered the burning building and attacked the seat of the fire. They used thermal imaging cameras to determine the extent of the fire on the heavily smoke-logged second level. The crews were then able to readily contain and extinguish the fire. The operation lasted for about an hour before firefighters considered they had the fire contained and crews remained at the scene for another hour mopping up and performing salvage work.

A large area of the top floor of the building was damaged and much of the contents, however the crews successfully defended the lower level and the car showrooms on either side. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the NSW Fire Brigades’ Fire Investigation and Research Unit in cooperation with the Police.

Contact officer: Gordon Boath 0417 293 852