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21/04/11 - Fires at Villawood Detention Centre

Published: 21st April 2011

Shortly before midnight last night crews were dispatched to reports of fires deliberately lit within the grounds of the Villawood Detention Centre in western Sydney.

The crew from Chester Hill arrived quickly and confirmed that no people were trapped or in direct danger from a building which was well alight. They also reported that due to a disturbance within the centre, it was too dangerous to attempt a direct attack on the fire.

A long night ensued with several buildings being set alight within the complex. Fourteen fire crews were responded to the incident and numerous aerial appliances were positioned outside the perimeter of the detention centre in safe locations to direct water onto burning buildings and exposures. When aerial surveillance by PolAir suggested that a residential building may be on fire, crews deployed inside the perimeter under the protection of the NSW Police Public Order and Riot Squad.

Most fires were contained by morning and crews remained on scene until the situation was handed over to Federal Police at 4.00pm on Thursday afternoon. It was a credit to all involved that no injuries occurred and firefighters performed their duties in a calm and professional manner under difficult circumstances.