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Massive Factory Fire in Derrimut Continues Unabated, Threatening Community



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A chemical explosion at a factory in Derrimut, a suburb in Melbourne‘s west, has ignited a large fire that continues to rage uncontrollably, prompting a massive response from emergency services. Fire Rescue Victoria reported the incident on Swann Drive, where hazardous chemicals and unknown toxins are fueling the blaze, causing concern for the surrounding areas.

Over 30 fire trucks are on the scene, with crews working tirelessly to contain the inferno using specialized equipment and aerial support. The fire, which started around 11:20am, has led to the issuance of evacuation orders for neighboring suburbs as thick black smoke blankets the sky over both western and eastern parts of Melbourne.

Eye witnesses, such as Ravenhall worker Trent Chamberlain, described seeing thick plumes of black smoke and periodic fireball explosions shooting high into the air, indicating the severity of the situation. Ambulance Victoria confirmed their presence at the scene since early on, with no reported injuries and all factory occupants safely evacuated by Victoria Police.

Swann Drive and outbound lanes of the Western Freeway are currently closed off, diversions in place and motorists advised to use Ballarat Road as an alternative route. Despite power failures affecting traffic signals, drivers are urged to follow standard give-way rules at intersections. Moreover, the public has been warned against obstructing emergency operations or stopping along high-speed roads to witness the ongoing fire.

Meanwhile, concerns loom over the longevity of the firefighting efforts as Fire Rescue Victoria Deputy Commissioner Michelle Cowling indicated the fire’s massive fuel load might require days to fully quench. Embers and exploding fuel drums are posing risks, compelling the evacuation of all nearby factories to contain the potential spread of toxic smoke towards the city.

With WorkSafe and environmental agencies on-site, investigations are set to determine the cause and aftermath of the fire. Telstra reported network outages in the vicinity, while a Watch and Act warning issued by Victoria Emergency advises residents in Derrimut, Laverton North, Sunshine West, and Truganina to seek shelter indoors immediately, mitigating exposure to the hazardous smoke.

Rachel Adams

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