Residents evacuated, streets filled with smoke during Preston fire

Written by Javed Iqbal

A building fire in Melbourne’s northern suburbs took almost three hours to bring under control and forced nearby residents to evacuate in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Sixty firefighters responded to the High Street in Preston which broke out at the empty former furniture store near the corner of Bell Street just after 6pm.

A vacant former furniture store has gone up in flames overnight.

A vacant former furniture store has gone up in flames overnight.Credit:Chris Vedelago

After receiving a number of triple zero calls, firefighters arrived at the scene within four minutes to find the large one-storey building fully alight, according to a Fire Rescue Victoria spokesman.

About 50 residents from a neighboring apartment complex were evacuated due to the “threat” of the fire, the spokesman said.

No one was injured in the fire.

Smoke coming from the fire clouded streets more than 150 meters from the fire.

The fire was brought under control just before 06.00, but crews will remain on site in Preston to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.

Northbound lanes on High Street between Bell and Bruce streets are expected to be closed for some time on Saturday. The Department for Transport is urging drivers to seek alternative routes through Preston, such as Plenty Road and St Georges Road.

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Javed Iqbal

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