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Pop goes the shed fire
The past week has been a relatively busy time for the usually quiet Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade, with everything from large grassfires, car fires and accidents occurring requiring their assistance. Last night was no different.
Just before 6pm (22 November), Bacchus Marsh and Myrniong Fire Brigades were paged to a reported shed fire in Gisborne Road, Bacchus Marsh.
Enroute, heavy smoke and fire conditions were witnessed, with 000 receiving multiple calls from residents who were concerned that there may have been someone inside the shed at the time.
With the first wordback from Lieutenant Tony Prowse of Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade of a structure fire not yet under control, crews donned breathing apparatus and stretched hoselines down the driveway of the premises, ready to force entry into the burning shed to conduct a search. A four-wheel drive was also alight in the driveway caused by the radiant heat from the initial fire.
“We arrived at the front of the shed to be confronted by some intense heat,” explains Firefighter Vince Vella. With Firefighter Vella and Captain Nathan Ractliffe ready to gain entry after starting to douse the flames, sharps pops were heard coming from inside the shed. “Unbeknownst to us, there were firearm cartridges and ammunition inside, with some igniting due to the heat,” describes Captain Ractliffe.
An external attack was conducted due to the severity of the fire, and the damage it had already caused to the roof structure of the shed, as well as staying clear of exploding ammunition. Thankfully, there were no persons inside the shed at the time of the fire, but unfortunately, due to a number of animals being kept in the shed, they succumbed to their injuries.
Due to a report of persons trapped, Ambulance Victoria attended to treat any patients, as well as doing health checks on all firefighters who were actively fighting the fire. “We like to look after our firefighters, so get paramedics to check over everyone who wears BA into the fire,” explains Lieutenant Prowse. Ambulance Victoria paramedics from Darley branch conducted health monitoring throughout the incident with temperatures, oxygen levels and blood pressures taken of all active firefighters.
An Under Control was placed on the incident within forty minutes, with most of the fire extinguished and only hot spots left to mop up. It was then left to fire investigators to determine the cause of the fire.
SES from Bacchus Marsh, who were training at their branch a few streets away, were requested for lighting, and to help with removing roofing iron to aid fire investigators look for a cause. Ballarat City Protective Equipment Van was also responded to refill BA cylinders back at the fire station.
The very thankful owners praised the work of the fire brigade for stopping the fire engulfing an attached shed full of more animals.
The last appliance to leave was Bacchus Marsh car, some three and a half hours after the initial call.
At this time, fire investigators from CFA District 15 are still to determine a cause of the fire.
The Officer in Charge of this fire was Lieutenant Tony Prowse from Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade.
Appliances in attendance were;
Bacchus Marsh – Pumper, Tanker 1, Tanker 2, Big Fill, Car.
Myrniong – Tanker 1.
SES for lighting.
Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police.
Pictures by Blair Dellemijn – CFA Communities and Communication.