Shortly after 3:11pm (13 October), Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) State Communications Centre received numerous Triple Zero (000) calls to a car fire in the car park of the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

A large black column of smoke quickly descended over the Olympic Park precinct as numerous cars caught fire from flames swept along the car park’s garden beds and from car to car by strong winds. As the emergency unfolded, the aquatic centre’s emergency evacuation plan swung into action and people were safely moved away from danger by staff from the complex.

As the first firefighters arrived, they contacted the FRNSW communications centre to request back-up from additional fire stations as numerous cars were on fire and the fire rapidly spreading.

Firefighters — working in extreme conditions — began work to extinguish the fires; prevent further cars from being consumed by an aggressive fire, and; stop the fire impacting the rail corridor and surrounding Olympic sports centres. The first arriving firefighters faced an intense — and long — battle.

A helicopter was sent to the scene and assisted fire fighting operations from the air by dropping water on spot-fires in the surrounding bushland neighbouring the car park. The railway line was temporarily closed during the emergency. The Railway Fire Service worked alongside FRNSW firefighters to ensure rail services were quickly restored.

As additional crews arrived, firefighters began to gain the upper hand and contained the fire, although numerous cars continued to burn. Fire trucks formed a chain of relay pumps to assist with supplying water to firefighters. For over two hours, firefighters battled the wind-fanned fire before declaring the scene safe enough for police to enter the scene to commence their investigation into the cause of the fire.

Police and HAZMAT crews checked the scene thoroughly before vehicle owners were allowed to start recovering the hundreds of cars unaffected by fire – saved by firefighters.

Pictures by FRNSW Media.

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