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Newtown shut down as gas cylinder fire erupts at service station $FRNSW

Flames shoot from gas bottles in a service station in King Street, Newtown, near the corner of Alice Street.

Flames shoot from gas bottles in a service station in King Street, Newtown, near the corner of Alice Street. Photo: John Welch, smh.com.au reader

A busy inner-Sydney street is in lockdown and homes and businesses have been evacuated after a fire erupted at a service station.

Gas-fuelled flames shot from the site in King Street, Newtown, near the corner of Alice Street.

King Street was closed between Enmore Road and St Peters railway station but has now reopened. Traffic remains heavy traffic with significant delays.

Flames shoot from the service station in King Street, Newtown.

Flames shoot from the service station in King Street, Newtown. Photo: Martini Cafe’s Facebook page

The fire has been extinguished and a utility company was on site surveying the damage and securing the gas tanks.

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NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Tom Cooper said earlier that crews were trying to contain the blaze, and were concerned about four 300-kilogram cylinders of LPG gas. A 150-metre radius exclusion zone was in place.

“One cylinder has caught fire and the heat has caused the one next to it to vent,” Superintendent Cooper said.

Firefighters standby as gas bottles in a service station are doused with water to prevent an explosion on King Street.

Firefighters stand by as gas bottles in a service station are doused with water to prevent an explosion on King Street. Photo: Fire and Rescue NSW

“Fire crews are continuing to cool the cylinders. There’s a fire coming out of the top of the cylinder, but we’re trying to cool them down.”

Gas escaping from the cylinders was in flames but safety features on the cylinders meant the fire was unlikely to travel back into the cylinders, he said.

The fire caused damage to the service station and Newtown Garden Market, which is next door.

Gas bottles in a service station are doused with water to prevent an explosion on King Street.

Gas bottles in a service station are doused with water to prevent an explosion on King Street. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Firefighters from five stations were at the site.

Firefighters would probably spend the next three or four hours fighting the blaze, he said, meaning the busy thoroughfare could reopen just before peak hour.

Northbound motorists being diverted via Sydney Park Road and southbound motorists diverted via Enmore Road, the Transport Management Centre said.

Buses were also being diverted and delayed, with drivers forced to miss some stops.

Mr Cooper said there was no evidence of a link between the Newtown fire and a blaze earlier this month involving several 200-kilogram LPG cylinders that caught alight at a BP service station at Hoxton Park in Sydney’s west.

Rachel Olding, AAP and Stephanie Gardiner

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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