Factory fire at Greenacre

Published: 8th October 2007

One of the biggest fires to occur in Sydney for many years required more than 130 firefighters from 46 stations to battle the blaze for over two days. The fire started at the front of the small goods factory, quickly took hold and spread throughout the factory. There were 350 workers evacuated from the factory and more than 650 people were evacuated from surrounding businesses. The fire was difficult to contain because of the extensive use of insulation panelling inside the factory which further intensified the heat and played a part in rapid fire spread. During the fire, sections of the roof collapsed as well as two external brick walls which limited access to the factory and posed a risk to the safety of firefighters. Other large areas of the factory were under threat of collapsing which meant that firefighting had to be in defensive mode from outside the factory. There were a number of hazards at the incident that firefighters had to take into consideration and Hazmat crews constantly monitored the billowing smoke plume and water run off. Elevated levels of toxins were not registered at any stage of the incident. The NSWFB provided a large resource commitment to the incident with 25 fire engines, three hydraulic ladder fire engines, Hazmat, Rescue and urban search and rescue specialists at the fire. The fire could not be extinguished for several days until an excavator could be brought in to remove the rubble from the collapsed roof, concrete slab and walls so that the pockets of fire could be fully extinguished.