News, Culture & Society

Balmain Leagues Club burns in mystery blaze after lying abandoned for more than a decade

Abandoned inner city eyesore goes up in flames after mystery blaze leaves CBD shrouded in thick black smoke, causing traffic chaos on busy roads

  • Huge fire engulfs crumbling inner Sydney landmark on Saturday afternoon
  • The old Balmain Leagues club alight after 4pm plunging Victoria Road into chaos
  • Westbound lanes had to be closed, police investigating the cause of the blaze 

A mystery blaze has engulfed the abandoned Balmain Leagues Club in Sydney’s Inner West, shrouding the city’s CBD in thick black smoke and causing traffic chaos.

Police and fire crews rushed to the Rozelle building at 4.35pm on Saturday on busy Victoria Road near Darling Street. 

An intense fire broke out in part of the building, shrouding nearby roads in acrid smoke and blotting out the sun.

In dramatic scenes, flames could been seen destroying the building just a few metres away from cars driving past.

A mystery blaze has engulfed the abandoned Balmain Leagues Club in Sydney ‘s Inner West, shrouding the city’s CBD in thick black smoke and causing traffic chaos

Police and fire crews rushed to the Rozelle building at 4.35pm on Saturday on busy Victoria Road near Darling Street

Police and fire crews rushed to the Rozelle building at 4.35pm on Saturday on busy Victoria Road near Darling Street

Late on Saturday afternoon, an intense fire broke out in part of the abandoned club, shrouding nearby busy roads in acrid smoke and blotting out the sun

Late on Saturday afternoon, an intense fire broke out in part of the abandoned club, shrouding nearby busy roads in acrid smoke and blotting out the sun

Smoke billowed from the site making it difficult for drivers to see on Victoria Road, which is a main thoroughfare to the city from the west.

Westbound traffic had to be halted and there were still big delays at 6pm, with one of the three westbound lanes still closed. 

Police initially urged motorists to avoid the area but official Transport NSW advice is now to ‘allow extra travel time and exercise caution.’

Fire and Rescue NSW brought the blaze under control with several hoses and firefighters attending the scene.

Fire and Rescue NSW brought the blaze under control with several hoses and firefighters attending the scene.

Transport NSW told drivers to 'allow extra travel time and exercise caution.'

Transport NSW told drivers to ‘allow extra travel time and exercise caution.’

It’s unclear what the cause of the fire was or where it started.

Fire and Rescue NSW brought the blaze under control with several hoses and firefighters attending the scene.

There were no reports of injuries. 

The unused site had been crumbling since it was partially demolished in 2010. 

The unused former Balmain Leagues club site had been crumbling since it was partially demolished in 2010

The unused former Balmain Leagues club site had been crumbling since it was partially demolished in 2010

Smoke billowed from the site making it difficult for drivers to see on Victoria Road, which is a main thoroughfare to the city from the west

Smoke billowed from the site making it difficult for drivers to see on Victoria Road, which is a main thoroughfare to the city from the west

The site had been earmarked to be used as a dirt dump during the construction of the nearby Western Harbour Tunnel after two high-rise apartment block projects were rejected.

Police investigations into the cause of the blaze are underway. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk