“It was a really gutsy effort by the first arriving firefighters”, Newcastle Station Officer Peter Curzi, said, referring to a large fire at The Edwards bar, in Newcastle West, on Wednesday night.
“Our guys had to cut their way in through a roller door to gain access to the fire. Once inside, they tried to cut the fire off before it spread. Because of the high fuel load it was already an intense, well-advanced fire when we arrived.
“They remained inside the building with hose lines until it became obvious the roof was close to collapse, the beams were sagging, and it became too dangerous to fight the fire internally.”
Crews changed to a defensive strategy, fighting the fire from the outside and ensuring it did not spread to adjoining properties. Six residents were evacuated.
“The fire was very hard to access as it took hold behind the front facade. We used aerial ladder platforms and multiple crews on hand lines to put out the fire,” Station Officer Curzi said.
Firefighters remained on site for over four hours before the fire was completely extinguished. Thermal imaging cameras were used to search for and cool hot spots to eliminate the risk of re-ignition.
Seventeen fire trucks attended the incident, including aerial, rescue and hazmat units. Fire Rescue NSW investigators arrived from Sydney on Thursday morning to start the difficult task of trying to determine the fire’s cause.
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