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Botany warehouse fire

Published: 5th January 2006

At 4.31 am on Monday 2 January 2006, the NSW Fire Brigades responded to an automatic fire alarm in an industrial complex in Botany. Within minutes of arriving, firefighters realised they were dealing with one of the largest property blazes in the last 12 months. Fire fighting crews from as far as Glebe and Miranda were called in to assist local crews battle the inferno.

The warehouse on fire was quickly surrounded by firefighting crews protecting the adjoining buildings. This prevented the fire spreading to other buildings and also saved containers and semi-trailers parked around the warehouse. The fire produced a large column of black smoke which affected nearby residential areas and Sydney Airport. The NSW Fire Brigades issued a warning to residents in surrounding areas that they should stay indoors and close doors and windows to avoid any possible effects of the smoke.

At the height of the blaze, the NSW Fire Brigades had more than 100 firefighters and in excess of 20 fire trucks at the scene. The fire trucks included water pumpers, four hydraulic ladder trucks to fight the fire from above, and a number of specialist breathing equipment and hazardous materials vehicles.

During and after the fire, hazardous materials teams, with the assistance of the Department of Environment and Conservation, tested water run-off from the site and dams set up to prevent contaminated water from entering Botany Bay.

While the fire was controlled and contained within several hours, firefighters maintained a presence at the site until late Wednesday until the fire was completely extinguished and there was no threat of re-ignition. This was a major incident and firefighters did a marvellous job in quickly containing the fire and stopping any spread to adjoining properties on the complex.