Around 100 people were evacuated from a eight-storey building on George Street after a fire broke out in its basement on Tuesday.
Firefighters said the fire started in the kitchen of the Emperor’s Choice Chinese restaurant just before 4pm and spread to the roof via an outside flue.
The fire broke out in the building’s basement and spread to the roof. Photo: Anouska Knox”The fire’s occurred in a downstairs area in a restaurant and has traveled up the chimney, or the flue, up the outside and onto the roof,”
Fire & Rescue NSW Superintendent Ian Krimmer said.
Advertisement Huge plumes of dark smoke and a flame on the outside of the building could be seen from nearby office buildings and the footpath on what is one of Sydney’s busiest streets.
An office worker who did not want to be named said he saw the fire from an adjacent building and left the area because it smelled “toxic”. He said the flame went up in a matter of minutes.
The building alight on George St. Photo: Supplied By around 4.30pm the blaze was out, and by around 5pm firefighters were allowing people back into the building.
Superintendent Krimmer said firefighters were on the scene within two minutes and it was due to that rapid response that the fire was quickly contained.
He said there was fire damage to the kitchen and some water damage to the restaurant. They do not know what caused the fire to start.Witnesses said an external pipe on the building looked to have caught fire.
Photo: Troy KnoxThe Transport Management Centre said one northbound lane closed on George Street, but by 6pm had reopened.There was heavy northbound traffic near Margaret St.