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Cloud of toxic smoke threatened residents


Cloud of toxic smoke hovered over Millicent – photo from Mt Burr

by S Lowe 5THE FM’s newsonline wattlerangenow

A total of 11 CFS crews attended the fire on Lossie Road Millicent today Saturday 8th February. Crews attended from Argyle, Rendelsham, Mt Burr, Mt McIntyre, Tantanoola, Penola, three crews from Millicent and a bulk water carrier from Beachport attended.  Moorak provided breathing apparatus for personnel.  All CFS personnel had to wear breathing apparatus due to the extreme toxic nature of the fire.


CFS personnel in breathing apparatus, prepare to enter building on Lossie Road Millicent.

“The health of the personnel and surrounding residents was a concern,”said Wattle Range Officer in Charge Mike Kemp .

“The building was insulated with poly styrene and it produces an extremely toxic smoke.”

Over 80 volunteer CFS personnel attended the incident.

 Police,  SES and Ambulance crews assisted.

CFS advised this morning that crews were responding to a Structure Commercial at a dis-used fish factory on Lossie Road, Millicent.

Local residents reported they heard explosions at approximately 6-30am this morning Saturday 8th February.

The incident caused a large amount of toxic black smoke around the western side of Millicent.  Residents of Millicent were advised to stay indoors and close all windows and doors.  Residents of Millicent were alerted by text message from the CFS.

Wattle Range Officer in Charge said the alert went out because of concerns that if the wind changed and brought the thick black toxic smoke over the nearby houses, the health of local Millicent residents would be at risk.


Toxic smoke billowed from the building

Mike Kemp told 5THE FM/wattlerangenow, “the cause has not been determined, it’s too early for that but Fire Investigation crew are flying down to Millicent to investigate, as we speak.”

“There is still so much heat on the site under the building because of the metal structure;  there are sheets of iron, eight and nine feet long, still too hot for anyone to get near, and the wind is creating a dangerous situation with these long sheets of metal.”

No injuries were reported.

The fire has been contained, but people are advised to stay clear of the area.

The following photographic story was taken by: Graeme Mellor for 5THE FM/wattlerangenow

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