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Fire in Shopping Centre, Bondi Junction

Published: 25th January 2006

Lunchtime shoppers were forced to evacuate from two levels of a major shopping complex in Bondi Junction on 25 January 2006 after a fire broke out in the ducting of a restaurant on the fifth level. Shortly before 1.30pm the NSW Fire Brigades received numerous triple zero calls reporting smoke issuing from the six level building and immediately dispatched four crews, a ladder truck and a rescue unit, making 20 firefighters committed to the incident.

The Woollahra crew was on the scene in four minutes and found smoke logging on the top two levels and 300-400 people evacuated. Firefighters put on air cylinders to investigate the source of smoke. With the assistance of thermal imaging technology, they found a fire burning in ducting between level five and the roof of the building. A ladder truck was positioned to allow firefighters access to the roof so they could provide fire protection where the ducting vented externally. Within 30 minutes crews had the fire contained and it took only another 15 minutes to extinguish the fire. Firefighters remained at the scene for another hour ventilating and mopping up.

Fire damage was confined to the ducting and was minimal, although levels five and six had minor smoke damage. There were no reports of any injuries.

The fire was caused by a build up of heat at an obstruction in the ducting.