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22/05/11 - Fruit shop fire at Punchbowl

Published: 22nd May 2011

Just after 5.00pm on Sunday 22 May, fire crews were responded to a two level building alight in Wattle Street, Punchbowl. Numerous triple Zero (000) calls were received with many reports that people were trapped on an upstairs balcony.

Bankstown firefighters arrived within six minutes and reported that a two level building with a fruit shop on the ground floor and a residence above was well alight and requested assistance from other fire crews.

Firefighters from Bankstown, Lakemba, Revesby, Riverwood, Campsie and Parramatta attended the incident. The ground floor of the building was totally involved and there were fears of an LPG cylinder exposed to flames within the building. Fortunately the occupants of the building were able to escape from their balcony to adjoining premises prior to Brigade arrival. Firefighters still conducted a full search of the building to ensure there were no other trapped occupants.

It took firefighters twenty minutes to knock the fire down and another half hour to finally extinguish. One adult and two children who escaped the fire were treated by ambulance paramedics for minor smoke inhalation and transported to hospital for further treatment. Both levels of the building were severely damaged and the cause of the fire is under investigation.