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Manuka Services Club blazes up. Vale the Shellshock Inn

By johnboy 28 April 2011 16

loads of fireies

ACT Fire Brigade on scene at a fire at Canberra Services Club on Canberra Avenue at Manuka.

6:06am Thursday 28 April 2011

Fire crews on scene confirm the Canberra Services Club next to Manuka Oval is well involved with extensive smoke coming out of the building.

Three fire pumpers, bronto aerial firefighting platform, breathing aparartus support crew and district officer all on scene.

6:20am Thursday 28 April 2011

Fire has now fully engulfed the timber building and the roof has collapsed.

There is currently no risk to any nearby properties at this stage including Manuka Oval.

ACT Policing have closed some roads around the scene.

6:45am Thursday 28 April 2011

Firefighters are continuing to extinguish the fire.

The building has been completely destroyed.

The ACT Fire Brigade is unable to estimate the damage cost due to the historic nature of the building.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

7:28am Thursday 28 April 2011

[Courtesy ESA]

If you have pictures or video please send them in to .

UPDATE: aussielyn has sent in these archival pictures:

archival photo

archive image

archive image

Eddy has sent in this picture and the one above with a note:

fire damage

Aside from being crook, I was rudely woken by the smell of smoke in my house, which was (and still is) emanating from the Services Club, two doors away from me. As you’d no doubt be aware (I think my housemate Jon sent you a pic, too), the Club burnt down this morning.

Apparently the firies turned up at 5.50am. At the peak of things one of the witnesses I spoke to said she counted 60 of them. There appeared to be every tanker in the ACT there, including the big arse crane thing trying to get to it from above. Alas, it’s definitely a write off. The outer walls are intact, but the roof’s caved in and it’s farked inside.

I overheard old mate who runs the show (or maybe is on the board-I’m not sure) saying that if there’s anything salvageable from the club the fire brigade have offered to store stuff around the corner in the Fire Brigade Museum (equidistant from my house in the other direction–both the club and the museum are one yard away from me).

As an aside, I’m now worried about the rather tame bunny rabbit that lived under the verandah at the Club. It was rather cute, and regularly grazed on my nature strip. I’m less worried about the possum that apparently lived in the roof.

Jon has sent in this one:

fire at the Canberra Services Club in manuka

What’s Your opinion?

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16 Responses to
Manuka Services Club blazes up. Vale the Shellshock Inn
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damien haas 2:26 pm 30 Apr 11

If they dont go in and start demolishing straight away, I think theres a good chance some of the external fabric of the building can be preserved, and reused. The St Kilda pier building was burnt to the waterline, and rebuilt using traditional methods to the original design. Wooden structures do have a unique charm, and that was definitely part of the Services club. So much of Canberra and esecially the older parts have gone that this would be a good opprtunity to restore an iconic building, instead of bulldozing and replacing with another slab tilt concrete monstrosity.

vg 1:01 pm 30 Apr 11

“I bet the developers are licking their chops this morning.”

They can lick all they like. They don’t know who actually has the controlling interest in the club and the building

Jerry Atric 11:23 am 30 Apr 11

Very sad. The architecture is very much “pre-war” Canberra. Examples in Liversidge St and the ANU – which were the Canberra Hospital before Acton peninisula, and afterwards the “Nursery School”. My memories of the Lady Gowrie Hut (as it was then called) include a Red Cross fete where my mother bought me a toy train engine made of a brightly painted tin can and odd bits of wood, a fabulous present for a small boy in the time of war.

ozzie 12:33 am 30 Apr 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Developers rubbing their hands, hey? More to the point, I wonder if any have been busy washing them this morning.

Couldn’t agree more – hope the forensics find the b…’s who did this, lock them up and throw away the key – and if they get away with it and try to “develop” the site, let’s hope there will be a permanent community group set up to blockade and make their “construction site” hell. They deserve to have their houses – which are no doubt in leafy suburbs – built out by high-rise apartments on all sides.

I-filed 8:32 pm 28 Apr 11

Horrendous – such a loss. Devastating for Canberra.

It will be interesting to see which developer builds there. Hopefully it will be dynamited serially until they give up.

Holden Caulfield 11:30 am 28 Apr 11

Developers rubbing their hands, hey? More to the point, I wonder if any have been busy washing them this morning.

Rawhide Kid Part3 11:11 am 28 Apr 11

gerbs said :

But I fear that we will be treated to yet more office space or “affordable” apartments.

This sort of thing use to happen quite frequently in Brisbane. A lot of heritage buildings were lost. Do I sound cynical ?

EvanJames 11:07 am 28 Apr 11

What a bloody shame. One of the last remnants of how the town used to be. I bet the developers are licking their chops this morning.

Thumper said :

This is really tragic.

I’ve spent many a great time in the quaint old club.

A very, very sad day.

+1 it had an appeal that is sdaly lacking in most watering holes.

Thumper 10:41 am 28 Apr 11

This is really tragic.

I’ve spent many a great time in the quaint old club.

A very, very sad day.

TVStar 10:41 am 28 Apr 11

Don’t need to worry about herritage listing before selling to developers now. Just like the insulation factory that won’t have to wait for compensation from the Commonwealth anymore.

Just saying.

dusty 10:28 am 28 Apr 11

Boo hoo best ‘old’ drinking hole in Canberra gone, many happy gatherings there over the years now just memories. The Firies were there till late last night for a function and then had to come back at 6
We’ll be lucky to get it replaced, the developers are calling the RSL right now I imagine

Beau Locks 10:23 am 28 Apr 11

Tragic. Possibly one of the best kept secrets in Canberra.

Sammy 10:03 am 28 Apr 11

Here’s hoping we don’t have a serial arsonist in the making. Two major blazes in unoccupied buildings in as many days.

gerbs 9:34 am 28 Apr 11

Very sad.

I know it is early days but I hope that there will be a replacement building of some sort built. The Club hosted a lot of meetings and, with the passing of the RSL in Civic, filled an important hole in the community.

But I fear that we will be treated to yet more office space or “affordable” apartments.

Please say it isn’t so. This is (was) such a top place to have a couple of sneaky ones away from the Manuka crowd.

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