Shops and staff gut­ted by mas­sive Coast blaze

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - ASH­LEY CARTER

DEV­AS­TATED work­ers at the Ma­roochy­dore busi­ness com­plex that was de­stroyed by a huge fire yes­ter­day watched on as fire­fight­ers sal­vaged what they could.

The Trinder Ave com­plex was well alight just af­ter 2am, with fire­fight­ers bat­tling the blaze un­til early af­ter­noon.

Act­ing Ma­roochy­dore Area Com­man­der Ge­off Hunter said smoke and flames were is­su­ing from the build­ing when crews ar­rived.

“We’ve had 37 fire­fight­ers on the scene and po­lice have evac­u­ated three houses at the rear of the build­ing in case of smoke travel and struc­tural col­lapse,” he said. “With the heat in­side, there was al­ways that pos­si­bil­ity.”

A Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices spokesman said the flames were un­der con­trol by about 4.05am, but crews stayed for hours to dampen down hot spots.

Wit­nesses said the owner of Sun­land TV Ser­vice, which was most af­fected, was ex­tremely up­set. He re­port­edly tried to ac­cess his store but was es­corted away by fire­fight­ers.

“He came here and he looked quite dev­as­tated,” Mr Hunter said.

The TV re­pair store and a hy­draulics cen­tre were gut­ted, and the ad­join­ing St Vin­cent de Paul cen­tre was badly dam­aged.

A Vin­nies staffer was too emo­tional to speak pub­licly, but her hus­band said the loss was dev­as­tat­ing, es­pe­cially at Christ­mas time.

He was watch­ing the news about 6.30am and recog­nised his wife’s work­place.

The cou­ple rushed to Trinder Ave to find a chaotic scene, with more than 30 fire­fight­ers, po­lice of­fi­cers, paramedics and the me­dia.

“(Fire­fight­ers) have done a great job put­ting the fires out,” he said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors will re­turn next week, once the build­ing is safe, to de­ter­mine the cause of the blaze.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.