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Feeling the heat in the marsh
Just after 3.30pm On Wednesday afternoon (20th March), Bacchus Marsh and Melton Fire Brigades were paged to a reported house fire in Young Street, Bacchus Marsh.
Multiple callers were stating that fire was seen coming from under a house in Young Street, with heavy smoke issuing. Once Bacchus Marsh Pumper arrived onscene, a “Structure Fire Not Yet Under Control” wordback was given to Vicfire, with a request of “Make Tankers 4” due to availability of water, as well as additional BA operators.
“We had a single storey dwelling with a second storey at the rear, with flames visible from the front and going through the roof,” explains Lieutenant Tony Prowse from Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade.
With an aggressive attack undertaken to try and halt the spread of fire, crews were sent into the house with multiple hoselines to hit the fire. “Even with my flash hood on, and trying to crawl upstairs to do a search, the heat was unbelievable on the side of my face….I just had to back out of there,” explains firefighter Evan Crilly.
With police requested for traffic control, they also notified the home owner of what was happening. That’s when they realised that one of the owners could possibly still be inside due to their car being out the front of the premises. Thankfully, they were located, on their way home from work, on their motorbike.
With structural collapse starting to occur, all firefighters were withdrawn from the house to fight the fire externally. The remote monitor was utilised on Melton Pumper to try and slow the spread of fire through the top storey. A 64mm hoseline was then stretched to the front of the house in an attempt to extinguish fire that was extending to the front rooms.
An “Under Control” wordback was not given for a number of hours.
SES were requested to supply a number of acrow props so that a team of firefighters could prop up a large beam in the upper storey of the house, so that overhaul could begin.
With Ambulance on standby, all firefighters undertaking any BA duties were checked over, and requested to cool down and hydrate before going back in.
Appliances onscene were;
Bacchus Marsh – Pumper, Tanker 1, Tanker 2, Car, Big Fill.
Melton – Pumper.
Coimadai – Tanker 1.
Myrniong – Tanker 1.
Sunbury – BA Support.
CFA – Operations Officer John Anderson, members from the CFA Fire Investigation Unit.
Victoria Police – Traffic Control.
Ambulance Victoria - Firefighter welfare.
SES – Bacchus Marsh Unit for lighting and use of acrow props.
A final “Stop” wordback was given after 8pm, with the last appliance returning after 9pm.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation by CFA Fire Investigators.
The Officer in Charge of this fire was Lieutenant Tony Prowse from Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade.
Pictures by Blair Dellemijn - CFA Photographer.