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Furniture Store Fire, Forbes

Published: 1st February 2006

Shortly after 4am on 31 January 2006 the NSW Fire Brigades’ Katoomba Communication Centre received triple zero calls reporting a building on fire in Forbes. The crew from Forbes Fire Station was quickly on the scene to confirm that a two level brick furniture store was fully alight with flames coming through the roof.

Firefighters could do little to save the building involved, so they concentrated on protecting neighbouring structures which were threatened by the fire. As only a one metre gap separated a light engineering business from the furniture store, protecting this building became priority. Not long after firefighting started sections of the front wall of the furniture store collapsed and the roof began to show signs of severe weakening. A collapse zone was established around the burning building to protect fire crews.

The NSW Fire Brigades crew from Parkes was sent to assist the Forbes crew. Local NSW Rural Fire Service crews also assisted. About 15 firefighters were committed to this incident. Police diverted traffic and an ambulance stood by in case of injuries, but there were no injuries reported. Council engineers were called in to assess the structural stability of the buildings.

It took firefighters just over an hour to control the fire, which extensively damaged the furniture store. However, crews successfully protected the neighbouring property with only the engineering firm sustaining minor external heat damage.

The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation involving NSW Fire Brigades and Police officers is under way.

Contact officer: 0417 293 852