Structure fire in Laverton North

Monday, 11 January 2021 at 9:20 am

FRV crews have responded to a structure fire on Dohertys Road in Laverton North.

A caller to triple zero (000) reported a fire at a recycling plant just before 6pm and FRV crews were on scene by 6:04pm.

Crews were met with a deep seated fire that had taken hold of a 50m x 50m pile of recycled metal waste. When crews arrived on scene the pile was well alight.

The response was quickly escalated and additional resources were responded.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working to extinguish the fire, and protect exposures.

Around 20 firefighting appliances and more than 70 firefighters have been responded to the scene. 

FRV issued a watch and act message for residents in Laverton North, and Laverton at 6:48pm, advising anyone located in Dohertys Road, Fitzgerald Road, Federation Trail and Maria Streets to take shelter indoors immediately. Those who are away from their home should not return.

There is a large amount of smoke issuing from the incident, and travelling in a south easterly direction.

The community are advised to switch off their air conditioning units, and close windows and doors.

Those who have been exposed to smoke should seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.

Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call Triple Zero (000).

Keep the roads clear so emergency services can respond.

Dohertys Road, Fitzgerald Road and Federation Trail are closed and emergency services are expected to remain on scene for some time.

EPA and WorkSafe have been notified.

UPDATE as of 1am: 

Thanks to the efforts of firefighters, the fire was declared under control at 12:50am on 12 January 2021,  more than six hours after it initially broke out.

The high fuel load, significant fire activity and difficult weather conditions made for a challenging fire fight.

Thankfully, there have been no reports of injury and Victoria Police assisted with safely evacuating neighbouring occupants.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the pile, with structures and neighbouring buildings protected by fire suppression activities. 

This fire was significant and required a multi-agency response.

FRV’s Scientific Officer and Command staff have been working with the EPA to ensure any risk to the community and the environment is minimised.  

The watch and act was downgraded to a community advice message at 2am on Tuesday morning. 

Dohertys and Fitzgerald Roads remain closed and crews will remain on scene for some time as they work to completely extinguish the fire.

Once the fire has been extinguished and has been made safe, FRV’s Fire Investigation and Analysis Unit will attend to determine what may have caused the fire to start.