The Metropolitan Fire Brigade today responded to a large office fire at the call centre and offices of Silver Top Taxis in Rupert Street, Collingwood at 8.20am this morning.
The fire was eventually contained to a mezzanine level in the two-storey office building and brought under control in just over 90 minutes at 10.07am.
Over 70 firefighters and 23 appliances responded to the call, including two aerial appliances that were used to attack the fire from above.
Incident Controller, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter Holmes said the building’s timber frames and floor caused intense heat, making it a difficult fire to bring under control.
“An early risk of internal structure collapse initially restricted firefighters’ access to the seat of the blaze,” he said.
“As the fire was brought under control, firefighters were able to enter the building using breathing apparatus to extinguish the fire.”
Twenty-five people working in the building were evacuated, with no reported injuries.
Police blocked traffic in surrounding streets, however neighbouring buildings did not require evacuation with the fire able to be contained to the building of origin.
Due to the structural instability of the building, the MFB are currently working with the City of Yarra, insurers and building engineers to make the building safe for fire investigation crews to access to determine the cause of the blaze.
Damage to the building is estimated between $800,000 and $1 million.
The building housed the office and call centre for Silver Top Taxis as well as training facilities and a small museum with old taxis and taxi meters dating back as far as the 1850s.
For more information please contact: MFB Media & Communications on 9665 4699 or email@example.com