Melbourne fire: huge blaze at Coolaroo recycling centre


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Some factories have been evacuated and others locked down as the fire spews ash and spume across the city

More than 130 firefighters are battling an “insane” blaze, which is threatening buildings at a recycling centre and spewing ash and smoke across Melbourne.

Factories near the Coolaroo blaze have been evacuated, while others have been locked down and workers have been told to stay indoors and turn off the air conditioning.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade acting deputy chief officer, Ken Brown, said firefighters were trying to protect an engineering building near the main fire.

“We’re surrounding this fire, we’re trying to contain it, he told 3AW on Thursday. “It’s going to be an ongoing fight for some time.”

Clarissa Garrow works directly across the road from the fire and said the blaze was “insane”. “No one can get in and no one can get out,” she said. “It’s really bad. Ash and papers are flying everywhere.”

This is the recycling centre’s third big blaze this year. A fire in February needed 130 firefighters to bring it under control.

“This is a regular thing – on my first day there was a fire there,” Garrow said.

Abby Krtar, a worker at another nearby business, said the blaze was a big one. “We can see smoke through the windows, ash is falling,” she said. “But we’re used to it.”

A watch and act alert is in place for 18 suburbs in northern Melbourne. “Anyone located in affected areas should take shelter indoors immediately,” the emergency warning says.

“Close all exterior doors, windows and vents and ensure that heating and cooling systems are turned off.

“If you are currently driving you should close the windows in your vehicle and turn off the air conditioning.”

The alert covers Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coburg, Coburg North, Coolaroo, Dallas, Fawkner, Glenroy, Hadfield, Jacana, Meadow Heights, Oak Park, Pascoe Vale, Pascoe Vale South, Roxburgh Park, Somerton, Strathmore and Westmeadows.

Online Source: The Guardian

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