To rise again: CFA volunteers discuss the fire which engulfed the factory behind them. Image: William Kulich.
The CFA is cleaning up following a Phoenix Street factory fire last night which saw crews from as far away as Dandenong called in for support.
The Warragul Fire Brigade was alerted to the fire at 39 Phoenix Street, Warragul, shortly before midnight and took 45 minutes to control the blaze.
Speaking on the scene, Warragul Fire Brigade Communications Officer Tyler Hogan told The Warragul Citizen the fire was difficult to put out.
“So many explosions and the plumbing building next door was under threat right from the word go so the first order was to… prevent the fire from spreading, with several explosions to the north, east, south and west of the building,” Mr Hogan said.
A CFA crew member is raised over the smouldering building in the Dandenong ladder platform. Image: William Kulich.
“The crews have done a top job.”
Crews from Warragul, Drouin, Yarragon and Trafalgar were called in, with a ladder platform from Dandenong and breathing apparatus support from Traralgon also present.
The fire is thought to have started in the rear or central workshops of the factory.
“We believe the back two are the only ones to have been affected,” Mr Hogan said.
“There is heaps of smoke damage throughout the whole building plus an extensive amount of damage to the central part.”
The owner of the central workshop says he believes an unattended wood heater in another workshop might have started the fire.
“Probably more likely the pot belly that started it,” the workshop owner said.
But Mr Hogan says the cause of the fire is still unclear. [Story continues below image.]
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CFA crews clean up after extinguishing the blaze. Image: William Kulich.
“Hard to tell. We don’t know, we don’t have the facts and there’s not enough light in the building to examine what the go is,” Mr Hogan said.
The owner says his insurance will not cover all the costs of the damage.
“It’ll cover all the stuff. Will probably lose out meself [sic] but what do you do? You don’t expect to lose everything in one hit,” he said.
Mr Hogan says the factory will be treated as a crime scene for the next 24 hours while investigators work to establish a cause, but the fire is probably not suspicious.
“Not suspicious at the moment, but… we don’t know any facts at this stage,” Mr Hogan said.
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