MFS firefighters save multiple shops from intense Chinatown blaze

2018-07-03 Chinatown Fire Photo Mike Burton

Pic courtesy MIKE BURTON/AAP


Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) firefighters recently saved multiple shops in the Chinatown district near the Adelaide Central Markets from an intense fire.

The MFS was notified by 000 (Triple Zero) call of a fire in the Chinatown area near Grote Street in Adelaide at about 1.05 am.

MFS firefighters arrived shortly after to find an intense fire in a shop that was burning through the roof and rapidly spreading to neighbouring shops. Crews quickly upgraded to a second, third and then fourth alarm to seek further resources.

At the height of the incident, 75 MFS firefighters from 16 appliances and five support vehicles battled the blaze, containing the fire within one hour. An aerial fire appliance (truck) was used by firefighters to observe the fire from above.

MFS Deputy Chief Officer, Michael Morgan said firefighters in breathing apparatus entered the burning property from several entry points to help with aggressively attacking the blaze.

“MFS firefighters worked extremely hard to contain the fire to the building of origin while also working internally to extinguish fire impacting multiple shops.”

“Due to the intensity of the fire and its rapid spread, there were three shops significantly impacted by the fire. However, the quick work of firefighters has saved several neighbouring shops from the blaze,” MFS Deputy Chief Officer Michael Morgan said.

An Advice message was issued during the blaze to notify the public of smoke travelling across Adelaide. Wind conditions were favourable meaning the impact of smoke was minimal.

MFS Deputy Chief Officer Michael Morgan attended the blaze overnight and said the MFS was supported by several agencies throughout the night.

“SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) paramedics monitored the health of firefighters throughout the incident, while SAPOL officers assisted by conducting interviews and preserving the scene.”

“Due to the number of MFS crews at the fire, Country Fire Service (CFS) firefighters provided back-up at MFS stations, which is known as ‘change of quarters’ to ensure emergency response capability across Adelaide was maintained overnight. Thank you to all agencies for their support.”

MFS and SAPOL Fire Cause Investigators have worked to determine the fire’s cause and assess the extent of damage. Damage is estimated at $1.5 m within a complex valued at up to $4 m.

In all, the fire gutted two shops (a supermarket and a restaurant), while a third business that sold shoes and clothing was also heavily fire damaged.

The Chinatown fire was fully extinguished about five hours after it first began, with MFS firefighters remaining on scene throughout the morning to clean up the area and support investigators. The fire’s cause is believed to be accidental.