The factory fire that took hold yesterday morning could take several more days to extinguish, leaving residents plagued by headaches and nausea from the smoke.
Firefighters arrived in West Footscray, Melbourne at 5am on Thursday and called in assistance from airport crews who have trucks with the capacity to spray foam from 80metres.
Melbourne Fire Brigade (MFB) declared that the situation was under control at around 10pm on Thursday.
Firefighters arrived at the scene in West Footscray, Melbourne at 5am yesterday and called in assistance from airport crews who have trucks with the capacity to spray foam from 80metres
Many locals have reported headaches and nausea following exposure to the thick black smoke, and residents gathered at Footscray Town Hall last night to discuss the catastrophe, 9News reports.
MFB chief Greg Leach told the community that his team still had a lot of work to do.
‘As much as we’d like to knock this fire down overnight, we’ve still got days and days of work here,’ he said.
He explained that as the asbestos roof of the building was on the verge of collapse, firefighters wouldn’t be able to enter the building until it was fully safe to do so.
With the asbestos roof of the building on the verge of collapse, firefighters are unable to enter certain areas, MFB chief Greg Leach said
More than 20 fire trucks and 100 firefighters battled the fire, which burned out of control in a building believed to be an old woolshed
‘That will take time,’ he said.
‘It’s dirty work, but it’s got to be done.’
He added that thanks to yesterday’s cold weather, most of the hot smoke plumes had risen above resident level, meaning minimal damage to air quality.
‘While we had this toxic, dark, acrid, black rolling plume that was heading over the suburbs, at ground level the air quality was relatively unchanged,’ Leach said.
Some residents, however, have complained about the ‘confusing and conflicting’ messages from authorities about the blaze, with many logging on to social media for updates.
The blaze could take ‘days and days’ to extinguish, Leach said during a community meeting
The smoke (pictured) caused the closure of eight local primary schools, with three others monitoring the situation closely
‘We want to know more…we want to see the readings and understand how long it’s going to be like that,’ said former Greens MP Colleen Hartland.
Speaking to The Herald Sun, Andrew and Cheryl Valneris – who own a Victorian Container business opposite the blaze – said that they have now been forced to close for a second day, and are suffering financially as a result.
‘It’s frustrating for us and for our clients, every day, every hour they can’t get access to our yard,’ Cheryl said.
‘The import exports out of Melbourne is huge. It’s millions of dollars every day that it costs to run these ships, that’s how much money we’re talking about. We’re talking about 500, 600 trucks; a lot of money and missed exports.’
Image taken from Eureka Sky Deck where smoke continues to drift over suburbs as fire crews battle to control a blaze at a factory in West Footscray
A steel recycling company was in the process of moving into the warehouse – which housed aerosols and over 40 drums containing grease, oil and acetone residues – when the fire started.
More than 35 fire trucks and 120 firefighters battled the fire, which was burning out of control in a factory containing asbestos, believed to be a former woolshed.
The smoke caused the closure of eight local primary schools, with three others monitoring the situation closely.
The 100m by 200m building is constructed from asbestos and contained welding chemincal oxy acetylene and acetone, authorities have said
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade issued a warning to all homes within a 2km radius of the fire, and advised those suffering from smoke inhalation to seek medical help
The 100m by 200m building is constructed from asbestos and contained welding chemical oxy acetylene, authorities told News.com.au.
Local residents were warned to close windows and doors, and turn off any heating or cooling systems.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade issued a warning to all homes within a 2km radius of the fire, and advised those suffering from smoke inhalation to seek medical help.
Ken Brown, Acting Deputy Chief of the MFB, said there was a potent nail polish remover smell and fire crews were dealing with a number of chemicals.
SCHOOLS CLOSED DUE TO SMOKE
* St John’s Primary – Footscray
* St Augustine’s Primary – Yarraville
* St Paul’s Primary – Sunshine West
* St Peter’s Primary – South West Sunshine
* Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Primary – Sunshine
* Corpus Christi School – Kingsville
* Annunciation Primary School – Brooklyn
* Kingsville Primary, Footscray West Primary and Wembley Primary remain open but are monitoring the situation
‘There is a large amount of toxic smoke which may impact the area within a 2km radius of Somerville Road,’ the MFB said in a statement
‘There’s oxy acetylene, acetone and some other goods which is causing us grief with a number of explosions, which we’re not happy about,’ Mr Brown told 3AW.
‘Depending on what the chemicals are and what products are burning that could give the black smoke, all we know is, it’s not good.’
A community advice warning was issued for the suburbs of Brooklyn, Kingsville, Tottenham, West Footscray, Altona North, Braybrook, Footscray, South Kingsville, Spotswood, Sunshine, and Yarraville.
Ken Brown, Acting Deputy Chief of the MFB, said there was a potent nail polish remover smell and fire crews were dealing with a number of chemicals
Somerville Road and Paramount Road are shut in both directions, and local businesses have been evacuated
People with breathing difficulties were warned to avoid the area, and pet owners were advised to keep their animals inside.
Witnesses who called 3AW radio said they heard explosions ‘like rolling thunder’ and more could be heard on video footage of the blaze.
The thick black smoke caused planes to be diverted, and affected traffic in a number of Melbourne suburbs.
Somerville Road and Paramount Road were shut in both directions, and local businesses were evacuated.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
The thick black smoke caused planes to be diverted, and affected traffic in Melbourne suburbs