Firefighters respond to major Bankstown high-rise fire

Published: 6th September 2012

Fire crews from across Sydney responded to a major high-rise apartment fire in West Terrace, Bankstown this afternoon <Thursday 6 September>.

Firefighters were initially alerted to the apartment block fire on the corner of West and South Terrace by an automatic fire alarm, followed by numerous Triple-Zero phone calls, about 2.50pm.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said fire crews worked quickly to extinguish the fire.

“Crews quickly arrived on the scene to find the fifth floor of the apartment block engulfed in flames. Firefighters rescued around 30 people from the upper floors of the building and were advised that a number of people were trapped on balconies and inside the smoke-logged building.

“Firefighters wearing breathing sets starting attacking the fire on the 5th floor, and conducted search and rescue on both the 5th and 6th floors.

“Crews have done an outstanding job at this fire. They contained the fire to one level and rescued 40-50 people.”

Firefighters also used a ladder truck to rescue an injured woman from a roof. Once the fire was extinguished, further searches were conducted of each unit in the block to ensure all occupants had evacuated safely.

Ambulance Service of NSW paramedics and doctors treated several people for smoke inhalation and a number of people were transported to hospital. Sadly, one person died at the scene.

Fire investigators and the NSW Police are currently on the scene assessing the cause of the fire. Roads around the unit block are slowly being re-opened, however motorists are asked to avoid the area.