Calls were made to Triple Zero (000) at around 1:30pm.
The first arriving FRV crew were on scene in approximately six minutes and called for additional support as they were met with a fire that had taken hold of a 60m x 100m structure.
A number of occupants were inside the building at the time of the fire however managed to evacuate before emergency services arrived on scene.
Occupants are being assessed and one person has been transferred into the care of Ambulance Victoria paramedics.
Almost 30 FRV firefighting appliances have been responded to the scene, including an aerial teleboom and ladder platform units, a Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS ‘drone’) and Hazmat units.
Crews are working to contain the fire and bring it under control however this is expected to be a protracted incident.
There is a large amount of black smoke issuing from the fire.
A community advice message has been issued for residents in Thomastown and Lalor.
Residents that are sensitive to smoke should close windows and doors, and turn off heating or cooling systems.
The community are advised to avoid the area, and ensure the roads are kept clear for emergency vehicles.
There is heavy traffic in the area and Settlement Road in Thomastown is currently closed between Brock and Milne Streets.
At this stage it is not clear what caused the fire to start however FRV’s specialist Fire Investigation Unit has responded to the scene.
Thanks to the efforts of firefighters, the fire was declared under control just before 4pm, approximately two hours and 20 minutes after it initially broke out.
Firefighters will remain on scene for some time until the fire is completely extinguished.
Settlement Road in Thomastown between Brock and Milne Streets remain closed.
Once it is safe to do so, FRV’s specialist Fire Investigation Unit will be analysing the scene and collecting information about what may have caused the fire to start.
At this stage it is believed that the factory was a car wrecking yard storing tyres and car parts.
The high fuel load and significant fire activity meant crews had to strategically attack it from a distance.
As of 4pm there are more than 70 FRV firefighters and more than 23 FRV firefighting appliances on scene.
FRV crews are being supported by a number of CFA and SES brigades.
FRV's Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS ‘drones’) fitted with thermal imaging cameras are being used to provide firefighters with aerial intelligence about hot spots.
This is a large fire that has called for significant resources and we thank our emergency services partners for their assistance – Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, CFA, EPA, SES, local government and the water and power authorities.
Crews remained on scene overnight to monitor any hotspots and make sure the fire had been fully extinguished, before handing the scene back to the owner and local council late Wednesday morning for further recovery work. EPA and Worksafe will also work with the owner on ongoing recovery efforts.
Specialist fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.
Reviewed 23 June 2021