25th May 2023 – (Sydney) A raging inferno has destroyed a seven-storey complex and damaged several other buildings next to Central Station, Sydney’s busiest train station, as around 100 firefighters battled the blaze. The dramatic incident occurred on Thursday afternoon, with the building collapsing in Randle Street, on the corner of Elizabeth Street in Surry Hills, on the southern edge of Sydney’s CBD.
The fire erupted at around 4pm, and by 6pm, the building had almost entirely collapsed, with debris falling onto the street below. The blaze caused a ‘tornado of smoke’ and was reportedly one of the biggest city fires in living memory. The heat could be felt even a block away.
The intense flames damaged several other nearby buildings, and a car parked outside the building was also left a smouldering wreck. The cause of the fire is still unknown, and an investigation is underway. Early reports suggest that at least one firefighter has been injured.
Local workers and commuters watched in horror as the fire spread rapidly, blanketing the suburb in an orange haze. Witnesses described the sheer intensity of the blaze and how it blew out windows on the top floors of nearby buildings. Some workers fled to nearby Prince Alfred Park to escape the fire, while others waited on the platform at Central Station, watching as the building collapsed.
The fire is believed to have started on the third floor and rapidly spread, with bricks strewn across the streetand the building resembling the bottom of a fire pit. Embers fell onto some of the balconies of a nearby white modern apartment building, causing it to be evacuated.
The incident disrupted transport in the area, with light rail services suspended on the L2 Randwick and L3 Kingsford lines. However, trains continued to run from Central Station, providing relief to commuters.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, and an investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile, residents of the affected buildings have been barred from entering their homes, and police are trying to control the crowds that have gathered nearby.
The incident has prompted calls from the city’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, and Premier Chris Minns, urging the public to stay safe and avoid the area. The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of fire safety and the critical role of firefighters in protecting our communities.