Firefighters have extinguished a restaurant fire, and more than 1500 homes are without power around Charlestown, Hillsborough and Warners Bay as the city swelters through one of the hottest days on record.
About 25 firefighters arrived at the Hunter Street end of Darby Street around 2.44pm to find the neighbourhood hazy with smoke and an apparent fire contained in a flue of the MEET restaurant and bar.
They set to work about the blaze and employed five trucks before it was controlled and extinguished about 30 minutes later. Firefighters remained on the scene past 3.30pm to mop up and ensure the fire had not spread, a spokesperson for the state's Fire Brigade said.
Paramedics have treated a man in his 50s, understood to be attached to the business, for smoke inhalation before he was taken to hospital. His condition was unclear, a spokesperson for the Ambulance said.
The Fire spokesperson said flues were a somewhat common fire hazard for restaurants, where grease and oils can build up before combustion. The fire was contained there, they said, and there was no extensive damage to the building.
Meanwhile, Ausgrid crews estimated an outage that had downed the power to 1558 homes at Hillsborough, Charlestown, and Warners Bay could take as many as four hours to fix.
The power went out to parts of the suburbs at about 2.15pm, and the utility has estimated that the issue may only be resolved at about 4.30pm.
It comes as the mercury lapped at record heights across the city on Saturday, at one point measuring 41 degrees at Bar Beach at Merewether. The hottest day on record was 42 degrees at Nobbys Head on December 23, 1990.
According to Bureau of Meteorology data, the same station measured the day's peak temperature at 38.5 degrees at 12.30pm, as parts of the Hunter Valley scorched through the afternoon.
Temperatures over 40 degrees were measured at Cessnock at 1pm, rising to a 41.8-degree peak at 3.30pm. Singleton shared the same temperature in the afternoon, and Maitland Airport recorded 41.6 degrees at 3pm before the temperatures appeared to fall about 3.30pm. Williamtown reached a peak of 40.7 degrees at 2pm, and Tocal recorded the hottest temperature in the region at 42.3 degrees at 3pm.
Gosford and Lake Macquarie were cooler in the mid-30s throughout the day.
On Nobbys Beach, where a few bathers headed for the water to beat the heat, the slushie vendor reported business has been slow throughout the day as the scorching temperatures kept most away.