Workers installing a new fire system at Woolworths Warragul caused the evacuation of the supermarket today after welding equipment started a blaze.
Nobody was injured in the relatively small fire, which was quickly extinguished by fire fighters.
Warragul Fire Brigade Lieutenant Wade Weidenbohm told The Warragul Citizen the fire started in a wall cavity.
“They just revamped the fire systems throughout Woolworths, and have done some welding that has created a fire in the wall cavity,” Mr Weidenbohm said.
“The main area at this stage is an elevated area in the wall cavity in the rear of Woolworths, so luckily for us there were people on the site who saw the smoke in an early stage.”
Several fire crews were called to the fire due to its location.
“It was a fairly small incident in regards of a structural fire but its location is difficult to get to and attack,” Mr Weidenbohm said.
Ambulances were called as a precaution.
Fire in the hole: Fire crews reopen a hole in the external wall of the building to cool the area believed to be where the fire started.
“We have elderly [shoppers], and some people may get nervous and there could be an incident where medical treatment could be required,” Mr Weidenbohm said.
A Woolworths employee says they could smell smoke before being told to evacuate.
“We smelt the smoke, and then they got the firies (sic) in and then they said ‘everybody out,’ so we went out,” the employee said.
“We just evacuated the store as were supposed to and everybody’s fine.”
After the fire was extinguished, fire crews reopened a hole in the external wall of the building to cool the source of the fire.
“In our second survey of the fire through our thermal imaging camera we found a heat source,” Mr Weidenbohm said.
“Lucky for us they had the hole already there and all we could do was knock out the filling and expose what we thought was a heat source.”
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