Melbourne factory fire brought under control but authorities expect it to burn for days

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A massive chemical factory fire in Derrimut, located in Melbourne’s west, has been brought under control, but authorities anticipate it will continue to burn for several days due to the hazardous materials involved. More than 180 firefighters responded to the fire on Swann Drive, which was triggered by a chemical explosion.
The fire, one of the largest in recent years, was declared under control at 3.30 pm, about four hours after emergency crews arrived on the scene.
The factory, known as the ACB Group site, has a history of chemical incidents. Last year, a chemical explosion at the same location resulted in the death of a 44-year-old man and minor injuries to another worker.
Fire rescue victoria (FRV) deputy commissioner Michelle Cowling reported that the warehouse is filled with multiple types of chemicals, causing continuous explosions and the observed fireballs being hurled into the sky. Residents in the affected areas have been urged to stay away for their safety.
A ‘watch and act’ message remains in place for residents in Derrimut, Laverton North, Sunshine, Sunshine West, and Truganina. They said that the wind is blowing toxic smoke towards the east, affecting these suburbs. Residents at home are advised to close all exterior doors, windows, and vents, and to turn off heating and cooling systems. Those not at home have been instructed to stay away from the area according to 7news.
Witnesses have reported seeing thick, black smoke and frequent fireball explosions. Trent Chamberlain, a worker in nearby Ravenhall, described the scene from his office about three kilometres away: “Every few minutes, a large fireball explosion shoots high into the air.”
Ambulance Victoria confirmed that paramedics have been on-site since the fire broke out, but no injuries have been reported in this latest incident.
The fire has also led to significant traffic disruptions. All lanes of the Western Freeway between the M80 Ring Road and Ballarat Road are closed. The Department of Transport and Planning has advised motorists to use Ballarat Road (Western Highway) to avoid the closures.
The local community is urged to avoid the area to allow emergency services to work effectively and not to stop on high-speed roads to watch the fire. The situation remains critical, and authorities continue to monitor and manage the fire as it burns.

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