Derrimut Fire
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Residents In Melbourne’s West Urged To Stay Indoors Following Massive Chemical Explosion

Residents in Melboourne’s west have been told to take shelter indoors immediately following a chemical explosion.

The warning extends to those in Derrimut, Laverton North, Sunshine West and Truganina and advised people to close all exterior doors and windows and ensure heating and cooling systems are turned off. 

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Firefighters were called to the factory about 11.20am on Wednesday following the large chemical explosion.

Fire Rescue Victoria has upgraded the severity of the fire to a “seventh alarm”, with around 180 firefighters and 66 appliances on the scene to battle the blaze. In Fire Rescue’s four year history, no fire has exceeded a “fifth alarm”.

Firefighter Michelle Carling expects the out of control fire to be battled for “a couple of days because of the fuel load in [the] factory”.

The circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire is being investigated.

“Fire Rescue Victoria initially responded to an explosion, so that will be investigated by both Victoria Police’s fire investigation unit and Fire and Rescue Victoria’s fire investigation unit,” Carling said.

“Chemicals, as we understand [are burning]. It’s still being investigated as to what type of fuel products are on fire, but there are 44-gallon drums, multiple- there’s a B-double that has been impinged on fire, but multiple types of fuel.”

At time of publishing, the fire had not spread to nearby properties. People in surrounding factories have been evacuated, Carling said, while the biggest threat to firefighters and the public at this stage remains the smoke.

“We can’t get in close enough to cool this fire down. It will have to be pulled apart [and] gone through [to make sure everything is out,” she said.

“We’ve got lots of water run-off so that has to be drained, we have to do a whole overall of this site to make sure it’s safe foir people that work around the are, obviously for the owner occupiers to come back in, and the public that traverse this road every day.”