Surry Hills fire: fears building could collapse after blaze engulfs former hat factory in Sydney

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Tonnes of bricks could again rainfall down connected a Sydney thoroughfare amid interest much parts of a charred seven-storey gathering mightiness collapse.

More than 120 firefighters from 30 occurrence trucks battled the blaze that broke retired astatine a heritage-listed erstwhile chapeau mill in Surry Hills connected Thursday afternoon, consuming the gathering arsenic thousands of radical watched on.

Firefighters worked done the nighttime to extinguish the blaze and were utilizing a drone to show hotspots for imaginable reignition connected Friday morning.

There are concerns much gathering walls could inactive illness without warning.

“There are 2 walls that are successful a precarious position,” Fire and Rescue NSW superintendent Adam Dewberry said connected Friday.

“There’s decidedly a precocious accidental they’ll travel down without notice.”

Dewberry said determination was inactive a important magnitude of enactment to beryllium done to marque the gathering harmless for access, particularly if the upwind picks up.

“We are talking astir tonnes and tonnes of bricks that could travel down and go projectiles,” helium said.

“There are solid windows and solid panelling inactive falling down from the gathering crossed the road.”

A choky exclusion portion surrounds the six blocks astir the building, ensuring cipher including firefighters tin get in.

About 50 radical were inactive incapable to instrumentality to their homes aft being evacuated, with constabulary informing a adjacent flat artifact whitethorn beryllium structurally unsound and spot fires were inactive being recovered and enactment out.

Among those locked retired overnight was a bride getting joined connected Friday.

Firefighters were capable to participate her flat and cod her wedding formal during a tally for essentials.

The Sydney Dental infirmary – a abbreviated region distant from the burnt retired gathering – was evacuated connected Thursday and was utilized arsenic a hub for the exigency services gathered astatine the site.

SURRY HILLS | Wall collapses arsenic large occurrence engulfs seven-storey building. New video footage, released by FRNSW, shows the infinitesimal a partition from an engulfed gathering successful Surry Hills came crashing down onto the thoroughfare below.

— Fire and Rescue NSW (@FRNSW) May 25, 2023

Once the country is safe, residents and businesses are expected to beryllium allowed to instrumentality to their premises and the large thoroughfare Elizabeth Street volition beryllium reopened.

Dewberry praised his crews for preventing important harm to adjacent buildings aft occurrence dispersed into an flat artifact and 1 suffered utmost vigor harm to its exterior.

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There were plans to crook the erstwhile chapeau mill into a 123-room, two-restaurant edifice astatine a outgo of astir $40m.

The origin of the blaze remains unknown, and an probe is nether way.

Due to the size of the occurrence and the interaction connected the community, a study volition beryllium prepared for the coroner.

A locksmith moving adjacent said helium saw a radical of teenagers moving from the gathering arsenic it caught alight.

“One of our workers did spot immoderate schoolhouse kids coming retired of the building,” a Hildebrandt Locksmith employee, who did not springiness his name, said.

The occurrence was 1 of the largest successful the metropolis for years, Fire and Rescue NSW acting commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said.

He said it was fortunate nary 1 was severely wounded successful the highly unsafe conditions.

The erstwhile factory’s extortion collapsed, past the floors, earlier parts of the building’s walls fell down soon earlier 5pm, sending reddish blistery bricks tumbling to the streets below.

The lone reported wounded was a insignificant pain suffered by a firefighter.

A ute parked beside the gathering was besides mislaid successful the fire.

– further reporting by Stephanie Convery

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