Residents forced to evacuate following Queanbeyan unit fire

RESIDENTS within a six-storey unit block in Queanbeyan were forced to evacuate their homes after a fire broke out at 4.55pm on Sunday, January 25.

Emergency Services responded to reports of a smoke emanating from a unit on the top floor of 50-unit block, ‘Kowen Towers’, at 86Derrima Road.

Firefighters broke down the door of the apartment and on entry observed an area adjacent to the kitchen bench to be well alight with smoke engulfing the adjoining bedroom and living area. The unit was unoccupied at the time.

Damage is believed to be to the value of approximately $50,000 and Queanbeyan Fire Station officer Mark Beachcroft said the fire did not appear to be accidental.

Neighbours on the same floor as the fire were evacuated to the lower floors whilst the fire was quickly extinguished.

While there were concerns the fire could spread to adjoining units, Mr Beachcroftsaid the flames were confined to the one area.

“At first there was a lot of smoke filling that top floor but the flames were quite confined to the kitchen,” he said.

“The chance of it spreading was minimal, next to nothing really.”

Approximately 10 residents were displaced for a period of two hours while a small amount of smoke was dispelled from the building.

No person was injured as a result of the incident. A crime scene was established and forensic police will examine the scene to try and determine the cause of the fire.

Queanbeyan Police is investigating and will formulate a report for the Coroner due to the significant property damage caused.

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