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MFB Crews tackle apartment blaze in South Melbourne

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24 Mar 2017
Firefighters had trouble accessing the unit due to materials being hoarded

Just before 11pm last night MFB firefighters responded to an automatic alarm call to an apartment building in Dorcas St, South Melbourne.

Arriving on scene they found a fire in a unit on the third floor of the apartment block.

Firefighters in breathing apparatus had trouble accessing the unit due to materials being hoarded by the occupant, and a search of the unit found the 40 year old occupant still inside.

She was swiftly evacuated by firefighters and placed in the care of Ambulance Victoria and transported to hospital.

The fire was declared Under Control after thirty minutes.

Eight appliances and twenty five firefighters tackled the blaze.


Hoarding is the persistent accumulation and lack of ability to relinquish large numbers of objects or animals. It is a progressive and chronic condition.

MFB responds to an incident involving hoarding and/or squalor on average every six days.

Between 2012 and 2015 MFB responded to more than 160 incidents involving hoarding and/or squalor across the Metropolitan District.

Hoarding creates a high fuel load that:

- increases the risk to the occupants, MFB firefighters and neighbouring properties;
- provides increased opportunity for ignition;
- results in blocked exits and narrow pathways reducing the ability of the occupants to escape and access for firefighters;
- often require increased fire fighting resources to extinguish the fire; and
- usually result in higher property loss and damage.

For more information on how to reduce the risk associated with hoarding and/or squalor visit the MFB website: 


Tips for helping people affected by hoarding:
• Install smoke alarms and test them.
• Unblock exits.
• Widen internal pathways.
• Check utilities are connected.
• Prioritise removing clutter from around cooking area and stove tops as on average 39% of fires in hoarding homes result from cooking.
• Ensure clutter is removed from around heaters and electrical items and discourage the use of open flames as, combined, these factors account for 44% of fires in hoarding homes.



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