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Smoke shrouds Melton
It was a busy 24hrs for the Melton Fire Brigade starting on Thursday afternoon (3rd January), with a response to a ‘Make Tankers 10’ grassfire in Hillside, a factory fire, and multiple bin and grassfires throughout the night.
Just before 7pm on Thursday (3rd January), 000 started receiving multiple calls for a reported Warehouse Fire in Palmerston Street in Melton.
With reports of black smoke and flames issuing, with explosions heard, and with the Melton Fire Station only a block away, Station Officer Kneeshaw on Melton Pumper gave a Not Yet Under Control wordback on arrival, with a request of an additional Pumper from Caroline Springs to attend.
With multiple appliances arriving from Melton within minutes, and water sourced from a number of hydrants, crews donned Breathing Apparatus to force entry into the adjoining factories to stop the lateral spread of fire. A request very early on for a Teleboom from the MFB and BA Support from Ballarat City proved useful in knocking down the main portion of the fire from above, as well as replenishing multiple BA’s that were in use.
At the height of the blaze, with smoke travelling over a wide area, a 'Community Warning' was sent out via CFA's online social media channels.
Due to the 35C temperatures, and most people employed in the heavy firefight, Ambulance Victoria were on hand with health monitoring of everyone, making sure all firefighters had adequate rest and cooling down periods, with fluid intake being a high priority.
“I’m pleased that the fire was stopped from entering the adjoining factories,” explains SO Kneeshaw. Unfortunately, the area of origin was a total loss, but the adjoining businesses were saved, one being an auto mechanics with multiple cars and hazardous materials inside.
Due to the possibility of asbestos being involved in the fire, all turnout gear and equipment was decontaminated on site, with all PPC sent away for testing and laundering.
Many thanks go to the Melton Fire Brigade Auxiliary in providing food for the very weary firefighters on scene throughout the night.
The last appliances gave ‘In Station’ just after midnight, but crews did not finish making up all the gear and appliances till well past 2am.
Appliances in attendance were;
Melton – Pumper, Pumper 9, Pumper-Tanker, Tanker, Rescue, FCV, Car.
Caroline Springs – Pumper.
Ballarat City – PE Van.
CFA D14 – OO Dullard, RDO 14.
MFB – Pumper 43, Teleboom 44, Commander Taylor.
SES – Lighting
Victoria Police – Traffic and crowd control.
Ambulance Victoria – Firefighter welfare.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by CFA Fire Investigators and Victoria Police.
But that wasn't the end to a very busy night with a further 6 calls coming in, ranging from grass to bin fires, making it a very long night for everyone.
Pictures by Blair Dellemijn - CFA Communities and Communication.