Neighbours have spoken of the horrific moment an apartment complex for the over-55s in Sydney’s south west was all but destroyed by a massive blaze that broke out late this morning.
A triple-zero call was first made at 11.55am after flames consumed the top floor of the flats in Bass Hill, a few kilometres west of Bankstown.
Firefighters scoured the charred rubble after the roof collapsed of a complex chiefly inhabited by retirees. Around 25 people have been rescued and while the search was on for two possible victims, they were later found not to be in the unit block.
“Kids were running out screaming and crying ‘there’s a fire, there’s a fire,’” one neighbour told Channel 9.
“The flames rushed up from every direction. The roof came down in 15 minutes,” he said.
Up to 50 firefighters were in attendance at the department of housing property on Kawana St. A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman told news.com.au that when staff arrived the top floor of the two storey block was well ablaze and the roof collapsed shortly afterwards.
Around 25 people residents were evacuated by emergency services from the flats. The rescue was complicated due to the age and facility of the residents.
Fire and Rescue NSW said that while there were no injuries, there was a hunt for other residents but that was later called off with everyone accounted for. The service said the building was “quite unstable”.
Pictures from the scene show that the roof of the apartment building has collapsed and much of the interior is now charred ruins. There are said to be 14 units in the block with half the flats, all those on the top floor, totally destroyed.
Traffic on the A22 Hume Highway is heavily affected and Kawana Street and Adeline Street have been closed as emergency services work on the fire.