2019 Campbellfield factory fire

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Template:Use Australian English Template:Infobox disaster The 2019 Campbellfield factory fire was a major industrial fire that began in Campbellfield, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, on 5 April 2019. The size of the fire site was about 5000 m2, and it emitted toxic smoke across the city’s northern suburbs.[1] The fire was finally extinguished four days after it started.[2]

Background

The fire occurred at a waste management factory Bradbury Industrial Services on Thornycroft St at 6:40 am.[3] Buildings and vehicles were turned into fireballs and chemical drums sent soaring high above the warehouse as the inferno raged for hours. A witness in a nearby suburb to the fire said he saw a "massive explosion that looked like a mushroom cloud".[1] Two other fires had broken out in the facility previously.[4]

Bradbury Industrial Services provides storage and disposal services for hazardous and industrial waste, and specialises in treating solvent and other waste from paint and related industries.[5]

Fire

Metropolitan Fire Brigade firefighters brought the blaze under control by midday on April 5; however, the fire was not fully extinguished until four days later.[2] About thirty people were believed to have escaped the building before the firefighters arrived. At least two factory workers were hospitalised as a result of severe burns from the fire, with one employee receiving an eye injury.

The fire was initially contained within four hours by 175 firefighters.[6] Fire crews remain at the scene, using heat-detection devices to continually identify and dampen-down hotspots.[7][4] The fire forced the closure of nearby schools and businesses. Some residents fled their homes to escape toxic fumes.[8]

A number of schools and kindergartens in proximity to the fire were closed as of April 7 including:[9]

Investigations

Investigations into the cause of the fire were started on 9 April, involving police, fire investigators from the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade, WorkSafe Victoria, and the Victorian Coroner.[2] Initial speculations focused on the illegal or improper storage of flammable chemical waste.[3]

The fire began less than one day after Victorian Environment Protection Authority authorities inspected the factory, and fifteen days[6] after the factory had its license revoked for storing three times[10] as much waste as it was permitted.[11] The EPA's inspection on April 4 discovered 300,000 litres of chemicals inside.[12]

EPA executive director Damian Wells said the factory contained "highly flammable materials".[3]

The EPA has begun an independent review into its systems and processes for dealing with toxic waste.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Melbourne factory fire may burn for days, as authorities reveal site had licence suspended" (in en-US). 2019-04-04. https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/vic/2019/04/05/melbourne-factory-fire-2/. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Koob, Simone Fox (9 April 2019). "Arson squad to probe warehouse blaze after fireys finally put it out". The Age. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/arson-squad-to-probe-warehouse-blaze-after-fireys-finally-put-it-out-20190409-p51cdr.html. Retrieved 10 April 2019. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Toxic fire finally contained at waste factory". https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-news-campbellfield-factory-fire/5254a86d-a79d-4e2c-abc2-d01e7fb335fa. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cambellfield Fire Cleanup At Bradbury Industrial Services". https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-06/campbellfield-fire-cleanup-at-bradbury-industrial-services/10978848. 
  5. Dunstan, Joseph; Rizmal, Zalika (2019-04-05). "Melbourne chemical blaze under control, but likely to burn for days" (in en-AU). https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-05/campbellfield-factory-fire-sends-smoke-over-melbournes-north/10973650. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Campbellfield fire hazard was known before massive blaze". 2019-04-08. http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/campbellfield-fire-hazard-was-known/. 
  7. Koob, Chris Vedelago, Sumeyya Ilanbey, Simone Fox (2019-04-05). "Campbellfield toxic fire: Warehouse operator linked to four other chemical stockpiles" (in en). https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/campbellfield-toxic-fire-warehouse-operator-linked-to-four-other-chemical-stockpiles-20190405-p51bdd.html. 
  8. Fowler, Matilda Boseley, Goya Dmytryshchak, Michael (2019-04-07). "'Toxic rainbow' after Campbellfield factory fire fuels residents' fears" (in en). https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/toxic-rainbow-after-campbellfield-factory-fire-fuels-residents-fears-20190407-p51bmz.html. 
  9. "Campbellfield fire: List of schools, kinders, childcare centres closed due to smoke". https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/campbellfield-factory-fire-list-of-schools-and-kindergartens-that-are-closed-today/news-story/399dfead93feb3e894daee1ea949288a. 
  10. Turbet, Hanna Mills (2019-04-05). "Massive Campbellfield fire at factory where chemicals stored causes toxic smoke plumes" (in en). https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbourne-express-friday-april-5-2019-20190404-p51aq0.html. 
  11. "Melbourne factory fire in Campbellfield: Bradbury Industrial ablaze as warnings issued for Broadmeadows, Coburg, Pascoe Vale". https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/factory-fire-residents-hear-sounds-of-small-explosions-as-large-blaze-tears-through-factory-in-melbournes-north/news-story/8b5073153ed43f52976825d024ccd58b. 
  12. "Burning factory had three times as many chemicals as allowed, EPA says". The Age. 2019-04-05. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/burning-factory-had-three-times-as-many-chemicals-as-allowed-epa-says-20190405-p51b9g.html. 

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