More than 50 firefighters have battled a blaze that destroyed an eatery in Melbourne’s CBD and forced the evacuation of surrounding businesses.
- The fire started in the kitchen of a restaurant
- It spread to the roof of the two-storey building near the corner of Bourke and Russell streets
- Firefighters do not believe anyone was injured in the blaze
Firefighters were called to Crazy Wing chicken restaurant, near the corner of Bourke and Russell streets at 11:16am, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said.
The two-storey building was “well involved” and the fire quickly spread to the roof.
Plumes of thick grey smoke could be seen billowing across the city.
“Crews have evacuated buildings on either side to ensure the safety of people in the area,” the MFB said.
“At this stage there are no reports of injuries and it is believed everyone has evacuated safely.”
Crews wore breathing apparatus to enter the building and fight the fire, which started in the kitchen of the restaurant and was brought under control at 11:52am.
Triple j producer James Findlay was in the area and said the trams on Bourke Street had stopped and traffic was closed off.
“There was what seemed like a Chinese restaurant with a lot of smoke billowing out of the windows,” he said.
“The police officers have since arrived and there’s a huge presence here and you can smell the smoke in the air as well. All of the officers are wearing gas masks.”
He said the smoke had begun to dissipate and slow down by about midday.
Karina Kong, who works at a ramen restaurant opposite Crazy Wing, said the blaze spread quickly.
“It was a very big fire and very quick. In one minute we could already smell the smoke,” Ms Kong said.
The MFB said it was not yet clear what caused the blaze.
Bridget Rollason tweets: “Smoke was billowing from the store and even filled businesses across the road with smoke. Russell Street is still blocked to traffic on one side.”
Susan Biggar tweets: Intense fire raging in Melbourne’s CBD near the corners of Russell and Bourke St.
Manny Hemman tweets video of Melbourne CBD fire
Brebbles tweets video of Melbourne CBD fire