BBQ gas bottle blamed for Chirnside Park fire

A leaking gas bottle is being blamed on a fire which has caused significant damage to an apartment block at Chirnside Park overnight.

15 Crews from Chirnside Park, Lilydale, Wonga Park, Mooroolbark, Bayswater, Scoresby and Yellingbo assisted by 4 MFB units, took 2 hours to bring the fire under control.

The blaze, which broke out in a 2 storey complex of town houses around 10pm Friday evening, destroyed one home and severely damaged another.

None of the occupants were injured, but a firefighter was treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Chrinside Park CFA Captain Neil Thompson said it was an intense and challenging fire.

“Something as simple as a leaking gas bottle can have terrible consequences. We’re very lucky all the residents were able to escape safely, this could have been much more serious,” Mr Thompson said.

He said it appears residents of one of the townhouses was barbequing on a balcony when the gas bottle exploded.

Despite the resident acting quickly with a fire extinguisher, it was too late.

“Some simple precautions such as checking a gas bottle connection with soapy water could have prevented this from happening,” Mr Thompson said.

Mr Thompson praised the firefighters involved.

“It was a difficult firefight and the crews from CFA and MFB did a fantastic job working together to stop the fire spreading to neighbouring properties.”

He said council engineers would check the structural integrity of the apartment block.

Author: CFA Media