Firefighters spent two and a half hours battling a blaze that caused extensive damage to the Pialligo Estate Smokehouse off Sheppard St, Hume last night, extinguishing the flames at around 9pm after receiving several Triple Zero calls alerting them to the fire just after 6.30pm.
The facility was used to produce cured Tasmanian sea trout and salmon, free range chicken, duck, bacon, ham and rainbow trout distributed to food retailers, restaurants and cafes in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.
A post on the Pialligo Estate Facebook page at around midnight reads:
“Earlier this evening we had a fire at our produce business in Hume. No one was in the building at the time. Our team will be hard at work tomorrow to continue the supply of our produce as soon as possible. Pialligo Estate remains open and is operating as normal. Thankyou to all for your support.”
Four pumper crews transporting four firefighters apiece arrived at the scene last night to find the food processing complex fully engulfed in fire with flames coming from the roof. They called for a fifth pumper to join the effort upon their arrival. Neighbouring buildings were not under threat due to the distance between them. Crews also used a Bronto aerial firefighting appliance to attack the flames with water from above.
The fire pumpers and support crews worked under the direction of Operational Commander Ross Turton to conduct defensive firefighting to suppress the flames from outside the building as it was not safe to enter the premises.
“When we arrived there was no chance of making an internal attack, so we positioned our crews essentially around the exterior of the building and commenced firefighting operations,” the commander said last night.
Firefighters are continuing to monitor and put out a few hot spots throughout the premises this morning, with the Bronto aerial appliance being used to put out hotspots in the roof.
Crews were awaiting a structural engineer to arrive on scene and inspect the premises before further investigation into the cause of the fire could be conducted.
One lane of Sheppard Street remained closed to traffic this morning.