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New Acton Burning.

By johnboy - 23 June 2011 57

diamante on fire

More as it comes to hand.

UPDATE 1: We’re hearing new acton completely on fire. Will check.

UPDATE 2: As you can see the Hotel Diamant is really blazing away. More as soon as we know.

UPDATE 3: Fire brigade believe they’ve got it under control.

UPDATE 4: We’re hearing the fire started in the roof above the hotel restaurant.

UPDATE 5: This tweet in from Emergency Services Minister Simon Corbell:

Ambos on scene but no one treated for injuries at this stage, surrounding apartments evacuated. Fire operations to cont o/night


Slideshow:

Here’s the slideshow so far, thanks enormously to everyone who’s contributed. More being added all the time.

Please send any photos you’ve got of this in to images@the-riotact.com.


ESA remarks:

ACT Fire Brigade on scene at a fire at Diamant Hotel site on Marcus Clarke street, Acton.

Update to follow.

4:50pm Thursday 23 June 2011

ACT Fire Brigade on scene with multiple resources working to bring the fire under control.

ACT Fire Brigade believe everyone has been safely evacuated at this stage.

5:15pm Thursday 23 June 2011

Hotel was well alight on arrival by ACT Fire Brigade.

Fire has been knocked down and under control.

Building has significant fire damage.

Nearby buildings have been evacuated.

Fire spread to adjacent buildings has been contained.

Fire operations expected to continue overnight.

Five pumpers, the Bronto Skylift Hydraulic Platform, the specialist Breathing Apparatus unit and command vehicles on scene.

ACT Ambulance Service also on scene as support with no patients treated.

6:10pm Thursday 23 June 2011

The ACT Fire Brigade completed atmospheric monitoring in nearby buildings with residents allowed back inside at around 9:30pm.

Fire crews will remain on site overnight continuing to dampen down the fire and monitor for any hot spots.

ACT State Emergency Service also providing support on scene with lighting towers.
6:53pm Thursday 23 June 2011 – Update four on fire at Diamant Hotel site Residents of nearby buildings remain evacuated as firefighters continue to work on completely extinguish the fire.

Firefighters will undertake atmospheric monitoring to ensure it is safe before the all clear is given for people to return inside.

10:37pm Thursday 23 June 2011


Videos:

Video from the other side of the lake as posted by bencapod (thanks RiotFrog)

And this video from qednet:

More video from qednet:

Rich sent this in

Here’s the view later on from the apARTments:


TV coverage:

Here’s WIN News take on the fire:

WIN’s late bulletin:

ABC reportage:


Original photo:

smoke over civic


Twitter:

Here’s what Twitter is saying:


And we’re even trending nationwide:

twitter trending screenshot


Further coverage can be found on our morning after story.

What’s Your opinion?


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57 Responses to
New Acton Burning.
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creative_canberran 3:00 pm 26 Jun 11

luther_bendross said :

creative_canberran: I’m gonna stick to my gut feeling of points 1,4 and 6 I raised earlier. I’m fully able to search the googlenet for information on things I previously knew nothing about as well, however in this case I’m a little reluctant to be so critical of ordinary people doing extraordinary jobs.

Sounds more like old fashioned, out-dated knowledge mixed with arrogance and ignorance. If you can’t offer any evidence and can only argue based on job description, you don’t have much to stand on.

The sad truth is it tends to take accidents and mistakes for fire brigades to wake up and progress their tactics and skill. Putting all the rhetoric about “extraordinary jobs” aside, fire services do tend to be lethargic, typically a reflection on management than the actual front line crews. It took the loss of several lives when fire over ran a NSW RFS tanker for them to wake up and start installing protection systems en mass. Despite the huge fires in 2001-2002 in the Canberra region which wiped out the pine forests around the Tuggeranong Parkway, they still didn’t learn enough to take the 2003 fires seriously. Read the coroner’s report, the number of stuff ups by ACT FB is incredible, from using flammable paper filters in engines to not providing adequate training. It took that disaster for the ACTFB to install crew protection systems and to actually buy tankers suited to urban-bush interface work.
And I should point out that the introduction of the CAFS tankers was frustrated because the fire brigade union wanted ESA to pay bonuses for crews rostered on CAFS tankers, taking the dispute all the way to the Industrial Relations Commission.

luther_bendross 9:25 am 26 Jun 11

creative_canberran: I’m gonna stick to my gut feeling of points 1,4 and 6 I raised earlier. I’m fully able to search the googlenet for information on things I previously knew nothing about as well, however in this case I’m a little reluctant to be so critical of ordinary people doing extraordinary jobs. Maybe you should go join ACTFB, AFP, mental health services and anyone else you’ve decided to be critical of lately. See what they do and why they do it before giving them a verbal spray (CAFS pun intended) on the internets.

creative_canberran 10:23 pm 25 Jun 11

luther_bendross said :

2. How do you suppose they’d deploy CAFS around some of those buildings?
3. CAFS primary job is not to put out fires, it’s to stop other stuff burning, and with the heat present there it would only last ~3min
5. In the volumes I think you are suggesting, CAFS would pose serious health risks to the guys on the ground trying to throw water around

And my favourite:
7. C78 was there on standby. It’s a CAFS unit.

How would they deploy CAFS around the buildings?
With a hose, surely you know of this invention.

CAFS primary job is not to put out fires?
Wrong. On most fuels, it is as effective or more effective than water. One of the primary purposes ESA intended CAFS for is “structural fire” fighting. And finally, evidence shows that CAFS dampens hot spots more effectively than water alone. That is why it’s increasingly being used overseas in urban environments. Crews were dealing with hot spots well into the next morning in this case.

• Unlike water, Compressed Air Foam applied to ceilings and walls remains in place and continues to absorb heat from fire gases until all water within it has been vapourised. This has the effect of slowing fire growth and once applied, CAF slows fire burn back by up to four times compared against water fog.

• CAF does not cause temperature inversion when used in the fire compartment, but instead causes a significant and immediate drop in temperatures at the lower levels of the compartment, improving conditions for firefighters and casualties.

• The reduction in the amount of water used reduces steam produced, whilst still achieving rapid cooling; this causes the neutral plane within the compartment to raise creating better visibility. Often there is a significant loss of visibility when using water fog as the neutral plane is pushed down.

Health hazard?
There is some risk of skin irritation, a risk also present due to heat and smoke. If crews were in PPE then the risk is negligible.

C78 was there on standby:
So they drove it there, parked it somewhere and didn’t use it? But wait,

BearBuns said :

As I said it takes time to get from Chisholm to the City and to get there in anything less than 40 minutes means that they were already rolling at the time.

You don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. Chisholm to Acton at 4pm on a weekday is an easy 15mins… without sirens in a regular car. In fact I drive that stretch five days a week, even in peak hour it never takes more than 25mins… and I don’t have sirens.

And regarding CAFS running out while water doesn’t, I was not aware CAFS tankers precluded pumping water from hydrants… oh wait, they can. In fact in this type of a fire, a very low foam, wet solution would have been ideal and used little of the concentrate anyway.

BearBuns 7:20 pm 25 Jun 11

Creative Canberran said … (too much to quote)

First off, the two closest stations are Ainslie and Fyshwick so they would have been there a great deal quicker than any other unit. Depending on what other resources were available would affect response times. The first on site would have assessed and confirmed more units being needed which would have already been rolling . As I said it takes time to get from Chisholm to the City and to get there in anything less than 40 minutes means that they were already rolling at the time.

Secondly, there would not be five appliances on site overnight so the resources used would not have been as many as when the building was ablaze.

Thirdly, there are nine stations therefore there are nine crewed motors (not 10) along with the Bronto, Hazmat and BA vehicles. CAFS tankers are situated at some of those stations and are not crewed separately (unless it is a high fire danger day) but by the Firefighters at those stations so therefore if they are despatched in a motor, that is what arrives. I am of the understanding that CAFS aren’t rolled out as standard practice simply because Foam runs out, water does not.

Just because the fire brigade has multiple firefighting appliances does not mean that they have the crews to utilise every single unit available. If you don’t like that, I am sure the Firefighters will be happy to have the support of the concerned citizens of Canberra who would prefer more Stations and more crews.

creative_canberran 3:41 pm 25 Jun 11

BearBuns said :

So five out of nine trucks wasn’t enough in your opinion? Not to mention the fact that they are not all parked in the same spot so no matter how rapid the response, the trucks coming from places like Chisholm can’t travel at the speed of sound, and they still have to give way to the Canberra drivers that don’t see big yellow trucks with lights and sirens. If they had responded all vehicles where would they have put them? From the pictures you can clearly see that access was limited, besides what if all resources had been deployed and there was another fire (which tends to happen during winter) or an accident (during peak hour traffic)? I think the Brigade would respond the resources it has whilst ensuring there is enough capability to cover the rest of Canberra should another incident occur.

Perhaps you should join the Brigade so you can give them the benefit of your vast firefighting knowledge?

Maybe you should listen to what the Commissioner of the Fire Brigade has said. And also try reading my posts, I’m saying were the five they used the right ones and why did it take so long to reach 5?
Commissioner said that initially, 2 pumpers were dispatched, which is the minimum standards require in the ACT. Realising what they were facing, they requested a third one. They then requested a fourth one, and then later a fifth one. That was requests, not arrivals due to transit time.
This had nothing to do with response times, they waited and gradually requested further resources.By the time all five were on scene, the Commissioner was telling ABC radio that the fire was so bad, search and rescue would not be possible, so hopefully no one was still inside. We’re lucky nearby construction workers and hotel staff were so effective in evacuating the premises.

What’s really silly is that you point out travel times can delay resources arriving. So wouldn’t it make sense to be on the side of caution and request a couple of surplus units from the start so they have a head start? Easier to turn them back or stand them down gradually.

And as for resources been diverted away, the fire brigade was on site through the night and into the morning, with hot spots “flaring up” repeatedly in the building. Hot spots that are proven to be more effectively dealt with by CAFS, which they didn’t deploy. Partly because CAFS rostering is not a priority in the ACT. Having fire crews on scenes for so long was putting other parts of Canberra more at risk than having a couple of extra trucks rolling from the start.

Also, you didn’t get the number of “trucks” right. They’ve got many more than 9 appliances. They’ve got 10 Urban Pumpers plus the Bronto pumper (standards require at least two of these pumpers attend a house size fire). On top of which they’ve got several tankers and the fleet of brand new CAFS tenders which the ACTFB had customer designed and built for among other things “structural fires”.

luther_bendross 1:46 pm 25 Jun 11

I was on my way to a beer degustation @ Flint when this went down, I was not impressed.

To creative_canberran: Unless you’re a firefighter, STFU for the following reasons:
1. You’re not a firefighter
2. How do you suppose they’d deploy CAFS around some of those buildings?
3. CAFS primary job is not to put out fires, it’s to stop other stuff burning, and with the heat present there it would only last ~3min
4. You’re not a firefighter
5. In the volumes I think you are suggesting, CAFS would pose serious health risks to the guys on the ground trying to throw water around
6. You’re not a firefighter

And my favourite:
7. C78 was there on standby. It’s a CAFS unit.

BearBuns 10:45 am 25 Jun 11

[And further to my comment, tests (including this one http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/tr-074.pdf) have found CAFS is more effective than water at fighting hotspots in confined space fires (like this one) and causes less water damage. The lower pressure also reduces the risk of evidence been damaged as to what caused the fire.
CAFS also knocks down fires as quick or often quicker while using less water.

It should also be noted that ACTFB deployed two pumper originally, followed by another and then a fifth. It was a slow build up of resources when it should have been a rapid, large scale deployment. ESA is now saying there efforts were so ineffective that the fire grew and pushed them out while fighting it. The commissioner himself said it was just lucky they didn’t have to search for people, they couldn’t have.

So it was luck and a firewall, but this was down to the wire and could have been worse. Smacks of ESA again been too timid.

So five out of nine trucks wasn’t enough in your opinion? Not to mention the fact that they are not all parked in the same spot so no matter how rapid the response, the trucks coming from places like Chisholm can’t travel at the speed of sound, and they still have to give way to the Canberra drivers that don’t see big yellow trucks with lights and sirens. If they had responded all vehicles where would they have put them? From the pictures you can clearly see that access was limited, besides what if all resources had been deployed and there was another fire (which tends to happen during winter) or an accident (during peak hour traffic)? I think the Brigade would respond the resources it has whilst ensuring there is enough capability to cover the rest of Canberra should another incident occur.

Perhaps you should join the Brigade so you can give them the benefit of your vast firefighting knowledge?

danggers16 9:07 pm 24 Jun 11

its pretty funny

creative_canberran 4:56 pm 24 Jun 11

time_killer said :

I imagine the professional fire-fighters assessed the situation from a far better position than a couple of photos posted on the net and decided the CAFS weren’t required. Considering that none of the surrounding buildings sustained any significant damage it appears they made the right call.

And further to my comment, tests (including this one http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/tr-074.pdf) have found CAFS is more effective than water at fighting hotspots in confined space fires (like this one) and causes less water damage. The lower pressure also reduces the risk of evidence been damaged as to what caused the fire.
CAFS also knocks down fires as quick or often quicker while using less water.

It should also be noted that ACTFB deployed two pumper originally, followed by another and then a fifth. It was a slow build up of resources when it should have been a rapid, large scale deployment. ESA is now saying there efforts were so ineffective that the fire grew and pushed them out while fighting it. The commissioner himself said it was just lucky they didn’t have to search for people, they couldn’t have.

So it was luck and a firewall, but this was down to the wire and could have been worse. Smacks of ESA again been too timid.

creative_canberran 4:18 pm 24 Jun 11

time_killer said :

creative_canberran said :

creative_canberran said :

Wonder why the ACT Fire Brigade had the Bronto Skylift parked there but in none of the photos of videos has it been seen deployed. Seems if the roof was on fire, flames shooting up 7 storeys, it would make sense to douse it from above and wet down surrounding areas.
The footage of them with hoses on the ground putting small streams of water in through second story windows looked rather insufficient for the intensity of the fire.

The Australian posted a story at midnight after I wrote the above comment. Turns out ACT Fire Brigade did deploy the Bronto later on in the night, quite an impressive pic from news limited: http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2011/06/23/1226080/818627-110623-diamant-fire.jpg
Still curious why it wasn’t one of the first things put into action. And still curious why the CAFS weren’t even there.

I imagine the professional fire-fighters assessed the situation from a far better position than a couple of photos posted on the net and decided the CAFS weren’t required. Considering that none of the surrounding buildings sustained any significant damage it appears they made the right call.

Actually it’s now been reported a firewall was present and that was mostly responsible for stopping it spreading, though by no means did they know if it would actually work. Had the firewall failed, we’d be looking at the consequences of another case of ESA under resourcing.

rosscoact 11:45 am 24 Jun 11

mouthface said :

skeatesy said :

we have seen fires in canberra before and when it all came out in the media to find thet were deliberate for progress and the people involved gave them selves a medal ..so wouldnt this be a coincidence that they wanted the old buildings removed for a new highrise building which will go there now no matter what ..skeatesy.com

Ok, most of the comments that are similar to this one must be the result of pure ignorance. Anyone who knows the owners and developers of this property (The Molonglo Group, owned by the Efkarpidis family) will know how proud they were of this development, and the amount of work that went into its renovation. The guys would be devastated, and I would bet my house that they will rebuild it back to its original, so enough of the snide innuendo. People, get over the attitude that all developers are greedy and don’t care about this city. BTW the most extensively damaged wing looks like the restaurant wing at the rear, and that upstairs section that’s completely burnt to the ground, that’s Molonglo Group’s offices. Also hope the Flint and Parlour people can get through this, they are all good people and have worked hard to make a go of it.

+1

It is ignorance and the lack of ability to actually make cogitant thought that prompts numbskulls to make this type of comments. What they are trying to say without actually saying it is that the owners have deliberately set the fire.

I urge people who think this to pause for a moment and try to think rationally before spewing out the first thing that pops into your head.

Firstly, this happened in the bit that makes the money and is very successful, secondly it happened during the day when the building was fully occupied and as soon as the fire was noticed the Fire Brigade was called, thirdly the people who built this obviously cared a great deal about making it the best they could and have been acknowledged as having done a terriffic job by creating a well used and patronised facility that is part of a precinct that is still under construction, again proclaimed as some of the best development in Canberra.

I sometimes despair about the common man.

time_killer 10:13 am 24 Jun 11

creative_canberran said :

creative_canberran said :

Wonder why the ACT Fire Brigade had the Bronto Skylift parked there but in none of the photos of videos has it been seen deployed. Seems if the roof was on fire, flames shooting up 7 storeys, it would make sense to douse it from above and wet down surrounding areas.
The footage of them with hoses on the ground putting small streams of water in through second story windows looked rather insufficient for the intensity of the fire.

The Australian posted a story at midnight after I wrote the above comment. Turns out ACT Fire Brigade did deploy the Bronto later on in the night, quite an impressive pic from news limited: http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2011/06/23/1226080/818627-110623-diamant-fire.jpg
Still curious why it wasn’t one of the first things put into action. And still curious why the CAFS weren’t even there.

I imagine the professional fire-fighters assessed the situation from a far better position than a couple of photos posted on the net and decided the CAFS weren’t required. Considering that none of the surrounding buildings sustained any significant damage it appears they made the right call.

Moose 9:45 am 24 Jun 11

Oh Firemen. There is something wonderful about them. Well done Firies for doing such a brilliant job.

tortfeaser 9:39 am 24 Jun 11

My recollection was the Bronto arrived while the roof was still in place, but stuffed around out the front trying to set up. It wasn’t set up in the place The Australian photo is from when I stopped looking around 5.30pm, well after the entire top floor and roof had collapsed.

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