Dramatic footage has captured the moment a massive fire ripped through a petrol station and explosions rocked a quiet suburb.
A dozen gas cylinders ignited at the Metro Petroleum station on Hamilton Road in Fairfield, western Sydney, at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening.
Each of the cylinders contained 200 kilograms of petroleum gas and the flames threatened to destroy neighboring properties.
Fire and rescue crews were called to respond to the blaze which took more than 50 firefighters and three hours to put out.
More than a dozen nearby residents fled their homes as 17 fire trucks rushed to the station to prevent oil from reaching the flame.
The Metro Petroleum station in Fairfield, west of Sydney, caught fire early on Wednesday evening as more than 50 firefighters worked to put out the blaze.
Rocket-like explosions were heard as several cylinders containing 200 kilograms of petroleum gas were hit by the flames.
Superintendent Adam Dewberry described the explosions as “big rocket noises”.
“It was an extremely intense fire… the flames were getting very high and starting to reach neighboring properties,” he said. ABC.
Passers-by who were nearby at the time ran as far away from the sounds as possible, while 15 residents managed to flee their homes unharmed.
Superintendent Dewberry said the likelihood of a wild explosion was very real since the fire surrounded countless oil cylinders.
A witness who was refueling his car at the time immediately called triple 0 at the first sight of the flames only to be told that fire trucks were already on the way.
Another said the flames “came out of nowhere” and reached the height of trees.
Once the fire was under control, a hazardous materials team monitored the area between Sackville Street and Hamilton Road to ensure it was safe.
“A very happy outcome here to prevent this incident from being catastrophic and causing serious damage,” Superintendent Dewberry added.
NSW Police teams worked alongside fire investigators throughout Thursday to determine the initial cause of the fire.
The risk of a massive explosion was very real as flames surrounded dozens of cylinders, but crews managed to achieve a “very happy outcome,” Superintendent Adam Dewberry said.
Nearby residents were safely evacuated and the fire was brought under control after three hours.
A total fire ban and severe fire danger warning was issued for the Greater Sydney region on Wednesday after dry winds created perfect tinderbox conditions.
More than 100 bushfires have broken out across the state in the past three days as temperatures continue to rise.
The entire country is on alert after the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed the onset of an El Nino weather phenomenon, increasing the risk of a hot and dry summer.
Another fire in Sydney’s west required the attention of more than 100 firefighters on Thursday morning after a plastics factory caught fire around 4am.
The Vinidex Plastics building on Woodpark Road in Smithfield was evacuated as flames overtook the building early in the morning.
Multiple fire crews and 25 trucks took more than an hour to put out the fire while 30 staff members were safely evacuated from the building.
A hazmat truck was left on site to deal with asbestos detected in the roof and investigators are trying to determine what started the fire.