News Releases

Sprinkler system keeps restaurant fire contained

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10 Jun 2010
UPDATE 14.00 Hours

The cause of this morning’s fire in Swanston Street was accidental. More alarming was the fact that many residents living above the restaurant, mostly International Students ignored the Emergency Warning Information System (EWIS) to evacuate the building.

It is important for visitors and international students in Melbourne to have an understanding of general fire safety. When a fire alarm sounds the community should be reminded that they must evacuate for their own personal safety as the situation may be life threatening.

Interview opportunity:
MFB Commander Frank Stockton will provide an update
for news crews at 3pm
450 Burnley Street, Richmond
All media welcome

Almost 200 people were evacuated from a 14 storey apartment block in Carlton following a fire in the kitchen of a restaurant (The Rice Bar) on the ground floor.

An installed sprinkler system managed to keep the blaze contained allowing it to be easily extinguished by the attending fire crews. Unfortunately, smoke from the fire had spread to the corridors of the apartments above necessitating the evacuation of all residents until it could be cleared. The cold and wet conditions made it imperative that this operation be carried out as quickly as possible and within 40 minutes, everyone was allowed to return to their rooms.

The fire at The Rice Bar is thought to have started in a kitchen flue.

TIME: 23:55 hours
CALL No.: 2629

OTHER UNITS: 1 (Breathing Apparatus support)


OFFICER - IN - CHARGE: Commander Lou Mele

ORIGINATOR: MFB Communications Controller – Trevor Woodward

For more information please contact: MFB Media & Communications on 9665 4699 or

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The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

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