Next steps after massive fire destroys Surry Hills building

Demolition experts say the burnt-out buildings ravaged by Sydney’s massive hell should be removed within weeks.

Sydney was thrown into chaos on Thursday after a massive fire devoured a seven-story building in Surry Hills before peak hours in the evening.

It took more than a dozen firefighters and more than 30 fire trucks to extinguish the blaze, which sent fireballs several meters into the air and smoke that could be seen from miles away.

camera iconThe front and back walls of the building have collapsed, but other walls are also a safety concern. NCA NewsWire / Nicky Short credit: News Corp Australia
building fire scene
camera iconAfter the fire, Rundle Street in Surry Hills is now littered with bricks and debris. NCA NewsWire / Nicky Short credit: News Corp Australia
camera iconThe large fire broke out around 4 p.m. Thursday. Nathan Schmidt/NCA NewsWire credit: NCA Newswire

According to Super Demolition owner Jacques Faturre, the first step in site demolition is to inspect interior materials for asbestos, which could pose a hazard to workers.

“Given the age of the building, it will be 100 percent polluted,” Faturre said.

Demolition experts assured the public that there was little danger to passers-by, even though the building was almost certainly made of asbestos.

“Since the fire was already on, the city council and the fire brigade have already put in water and liquids to keep the dust out of the air,” he said.

He said SafeWork and Sydney City Council will be involved to ensure the pollutants are transferred to landfills.

camera iconSydney City Council has confirmed it is working to assess the damage caused and establish next steps. NCA NewsWire / Nicky Short credit: News Corp Australia

“Demolition crews will make sure the site is safe and won’t collapse before they go to work,” he said.

Sydney City Council confirmed it was still evaluating the site before deciding how to proceed.

“The City is working with the New South Wales Government to manage the effects of yesterday’s fire at 7-13 Rundle Street,” a spokesperson said.

“Our building health and environmental staff are on-site and working with emergency services to assess the damage caused by the fire and are now establishing next steps.”

The interior of the building has been completely destroyed along with the two remaining exterior walls, but officials have serious concerns that these will collapse within days, complicating the demolition process. .

camera iconRundle Street and Elizabeth Street remain off-limits due to hazards. NCA NewsWire / Nicky Short credit: News Corp Australia

The fire caused the front and rear walls of the building to collapse, but strong winds could cause the side walls to collapse, posing a serious danger to the public, according to New South Wales Fire and Rescue Director Adam Dewberry. It is said that there is

“If the strong wind blows in the right direction, they can tip over… the corners are holding it up at the moment, but it’s quite possible that it will tip over without notice.”

Onlookers watched in horror as entire brick walls collapsed to the ground below, covering the ground with rubble.

Elizabeth Street and Rundle Street remain closed due to the dangers posed by unsafe walls.

camera iconSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NewsWire Photo May 26, 2023: The rear wall of a building destroyed by fire on Rundle Street in Surry Hills. NCA NewsWire / Nicky Short credit: News Corp Australia

“That’s why we have a very strict no-go zone for everyone, including firefighters, in and around the area,” Dewberry said.

“Those walls are too dangerous because hitting them with bricks can cause serious injury or death. So that’s our number one priority, safety first.”

Faturre said he expected the wall to be “manually knocked down to a certain level” before it was safe to work on it.

Then, he said, it would be time to bring in machines such as excavators to complete the work.

Faturre said despite the scale of the demolition work, the entire process will take less than a month, as officials want to remove the hazards and restore normality to the city’s streets. Next steps after massive fire destroys Surry Hills building

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