Bacchus Marsh Brigade had just completed a major breathing apparatus exercise in town when their pagers were activated. With flames spotted from Bacchus Marsh, Lieutenant Prowse on Bacchus Marsh Pumper requested through Vicfire to "Make Pumpers 2, Tankers 5."
On arrival, crews were met with a factory 40x80m with heavy fire conditions in the front portion of the building. Fire was also travelling internally along the wooden beams for the full length of the building.
An aggressive firefight was conducted internally with crews donning breathing apparatus and multiple hoselines. Due to the possibility of a lack of water in the area, a "Make Tankers 10" was requested to perform a Tanker relay.
With additional resources attending from Melton, Parwan, Myrniong, Balliang, Coimadai, Ballan, Rowsley, Ballengarook, and BA Vans from Ballarat City and Sunbury, holes were cut into the sides of the building with saws to gain access to the fire in the upper portion of the building.
Due to the poor structural integrity of the building, crews were withdrawn to a safe area, away from any possible collapse zones, with barrier tape put up in areas for everyone to keep clear of.
Appliances in attendance were;
Bacchus Marsh - Pumper, Tanker 1, Tanker 2, Big Fill, Car.
Melton - Pumper, Tanker.
Myrniong - Tanker 1, Tanker 2.
Ballan - Tanker 1 (move-up to Bacchus Marsh)
Balliang - Tanker 1.
Ballarat City - PE Van, FCV.
Bullengarook - Tanker 2.
Coimadai - Tanker 1, Tanker 2.
Parwan - Tanker 1, Tanker 2.
Rowsley - Tanker 1.
Sunbury - BA Support.
SES - Lighting trailer.
Victoria Police were requested for crowd and traffic control, along with Ambulance Victoria for crew welfare, and the relevant utilities for shutting down power and gas.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by CFA and Victoria Police.
The Officer in Charge of this fire was Lieutenant Tony Prowse from Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade.
Pictures by Blair Dellemijn - CFA Strategic Communications.