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Firefighters rescue 20 people from Bondi backpackers' hostel fire

Published: 13th October 2011

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters this morning attended a fire at a Bondi backpacker’s hostel that is believed to be suspicious.

At 3.45am fire crews from the eastern suburbs rushed to the backpacker’s hostel on Campbell Parade and found heavy smoke billowing and a fire near the front stairwell. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze that left minimal damage.

Approximately 130 people staying at the backpackers were able to get out of the building themselves however when fire crews arrived there were 20 people at windows described as being “in a state of panic” with some threatening to jump. One person did jump and was treated for injuries by paramedics.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus helped the remaining 20 people to safety and three were treated for smoke inhalation. Those who evacuated returned to the hostel about an hour later.

NSW Police Force and fire investigators are investigating the cause of the fire that at this early stage is believed to be suspicious.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins thanked the fire crews for their quick response and reiterated the importance of smoke alarms.

“These devices save lives. No one died or was seriously injured in this fire and 130 people were able to self-evacuate in the middle of the night because of smoke alarms,” he said.

“Smoke alarms are the first line of defence when there is a fire in any type of building. They are designed to wake people from a deep sleep. People could have been seriously injured or worse in this fire had there not being smoke alarms.”

For more information on smoke alarms and fire safety tips please go to the FRNSW website www.fire.nsw.gov.au