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Marrickville Factory Fire

Published: 1st January 2009

At 11pm on New Years day numerous triple 000 calls were received reporting a factory fire in Meeks Rd Marrickville. Crews from Marrickville and Newtown were on scene within 4 minutes and were confronted with a large chocolate factory 100m by 30m with smoke coming from the roof area. Entry was made via a roller door using power saws. A fierce internal fire had developed fuelled by the products of chocolate production including oils, powder and cardboard .Internal fire fighting crews reported extreme heat and fire conditions .The 100m northern wall of the factory was bowing badly and in danger of collapse. Due to these factors internal crews were forced from the building. The response was upgraded to six stations. An adjoining electrical sub station on the northern side of the building and a 100ml gas main on the southern side of the premises were also in imminent danger. Local residents were evacuated by Police under Fire Brigade advice. Evacuations were completed with residents being accommodated in a nearby club. Power to the factory had been switched off. The electrical sub station was live and presenting a major concern. It supplied 35,000 people with electricity but had to be isolated and shut off for some time. This was completed at 1250am.Exposure protection for the sub station could now be fully implemented. Aerial appliances and ground monitors were in place to contain and extinguish fire to the chocolate factory and to protect all adjoining structures. At 3am the fire had been contained to the factory and was extinguished as much as internal conditions would allow. Water run off was being monitored. There were no reported injuries. Integral energy was set to restore power to surrounding premises. Fire crews, along with Police and Ambulance worked throughout the night to resolve this incident. In all over 12 stations and 70 fire fighters attended this incident. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.