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Restaurant fire at Bondi

Published: 13th January 2006

Shortly before 8am Friday NSW Fire Brigades Sydney Communications Centre received ‘triple zero’ calls reporting smoke issuing from a building in Campbell Pde at Bondi Beach. Fire Crews were quickly on the scene to confirm large volumes of smoke issuing from a four storey building and requested urgent assistance.

Firefighters from the Bondi brigade put on air cylinders to enter the building and determine the source of the smoke. They were able to locate a substantial fire burning in a restaurant and bar at the rear of an arcade containing several shops and surrounded by residential units. It was further determined that approximately 20 occupants of the units self-evacuated after hearing a fire alarm operating and noticing large volumes of smoke issuing from the adjacent building.

Another four brigades were dispatched to assist the Bondi crew realising 25 firefighters called in to battle the fire. As additional crews arrived efforts were concentrated on searching the fire affected building and initiating an attack on the fire. To ascertain the extent of the fire crews used thermal imaging cameras and were readily able to determine that the fire was burning in the ceiling cavity above the bar area of the restaurant. Firefighters then needed to access this concealed space in order to contain and eventually extinguish the fire.

It wasn’t until about an hour and a half into the operation that firefighters felt confident that they had the fire fully contained and by 10am the fire was declared extinguished.

Although the restaurant was severely damaged by the fire, the remainder of the building and adjacent residences were saved by the firefighters. There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire although one person needed to be comforted by Ambulance officers after becoming distressed by the traumatic event.

The cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated by the NSW Fire Brigades Fire Investigation and Research Unit and the Police Forensic Services Group.

Media contact: Inspector Gordon Boath ph 0417 293 852