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On Friday 31 May, around 30 firefighters attended multiple incidents in Bangholme which tested the resources of the brigades attending to their limits.
Crews attending included members from Badger Creek, Wonga Park, Mooroolbark, Warrandyte, South Warrandyte, Eltham, Dixons Creek and the Maroondah Group FOV was required to manage the range of incidents attended.
Incident Controller Will Hodgson briefed crews upon arrival at scene and coordinated the response effort.
Initially, crews responded to a report of smoke issuing at a premises on Army Rd. Access through a side gate was obtained early and a quick knockdown of the fire was achieved. In trying to leave the scene, the owner of the premises inadvertently set his car alight and crews had to respond again to douse the burning vehicle.
Having left foodstuffs unattended inside on the stove, a third fire was reported at the same location and fire fighters in breathing apparatus had to make entry into the darkened building and locate the source of the fire. Fortunately this was done quickly and efficiently, and the fire contained to the kitchen area with minimal damage. Hydraulic ventilation quickly cleared the room of asphyxiants.
The owner was counselled on their careless behaviour by members on scene.
Crews were then responded to a report of fire on Potter Parade with little further information. Upon arrival, crews were confronted with a wall of flame eminating from a gas tanker which was leaking and had ignited. The driver of a car involved in the incident was quickly removed from his vehicle under the protection of a water fog shield deployed by first responders. Unfortunately, the driver was not able to be revived despite the valiant efforts of Lieutenant MacDougall.
Crews then set about containing the dangerous leak and attempting to reach the shutoff valve on the leaking truck. A 4-man fog attack successfully was employed to reach, contain and subsequently seal the leak. An excellent job by all members on the fireground despite the loss of the driver of the vehicle.
After returning from the leaking tanker, a call came in for an alarm operating at The Temple on Potter Parade. Crews were quickly on scene and were told that it was not known whether or not there were people inside the smoke filled building.
Access to the building was difficult and despite the requirement to have building plans at the fire alarm panel, no plans were located. This provided additional challenges for crews entering the building. A primary search by crews was conducted and the source of the smoke was located although no casualties were found. A secondary search also failed to find any victims and the site declared safe.
The incidents completed around 22:30 hours on site.
An extremely busy evening for all crews at the college and an excellent job done by all, particularly the FOV operations team who were responsible for communications traffic for the evening.
Thanks go to Maroondah Group and Will Hodgson for organising the evening which we are told will become a more regular feature of group training activities. All members in attendance gained a great deal from the night and we are looking forward to the next installment.