Rockdale. Sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

Firefighters have taken around two hours to extinguish a “massive” fire that broke out in a Sydney building on Tuesday.

The fire broke out in a residence above a Cash Converters in Rockdale on Geeves Ave, near the Princes Highway, at around 11.30am before ripping through the apartments, firefighters said.

news, australia, nsw news, tas news, rockdale. sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

Firefighters battled the blaze for at least two hours before bringing it under control. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

news, australia, nsw news, tas news, rockdale. sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

There were 16 trucks and 70 firefighters called to the scene. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

“We are getting on top of it, but it’s difficult to extinguish because the fire keeps getting through into concealed spaces in the iron roof,” NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Adam Dewberry said.

“It was a significant fire, quite complex, as we’ve got a number of occupancies so close together and they are older, decades old.

“We’ve had a fire in one of the areas that’s spread to adjoining premises.”

Four people were evacuated from the blaze, covered in ash and soot from the fire, according to witnesses.

news, australia, nsw news, tas news, rockdale. sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

The ‘significant’ fire is mostly contained. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

news, australia, nsw news, tas news, rockdale. sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

The fire has shut down the Princes Highway in both directions between Bay St and Bestic St. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

Paramedics assessed the four and another person for smoke inhalation and treated at the scene, but did not take them to hospital.

“It was massive, the biggest fire I’ve seen,” witness Jack Luland told NCA NewsWire.

“Within five minutes the whole street was blanketed by black smoke.”

The initial 12 fire trucks and 45 firefighters sent were not enough to contain the blaze, with more having to be sent to extinguish the fire.

news, australia, nsw news, tas news, rockdale. sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

The fire started in one residence before spreading to other parts of the building. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

news, australia, nsw news, tas news, rockdale. sydney: 70 firefighters battle massive blaze

Four people were evacuated and assessed by paramedics for smoke inhalation, with none injured. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

In the end, 16 firetrucks and 70 firefighters were on the scene responding to the fire.

Firefighters are concerned with the structural integrity of one of the walls within the building and will continue to assess what exact damage has been done.

The Princes Highway is still closed in both directions between Bay St and Bestic St, three hours after the fire started.

Motorists have been urged to avoid the area and expect delays, with buses 422, 478 and 479 having their routes diverted.

Firefighters are yet to determine the exact cause of the blaze and will determine whether there are any people missing.

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