MULTI-AGENCY MEDIA RELEASE: Emergency Operations Centre activated after fire destroys buildings at Surry Hills

Friday, 26 May 2023 04:56:47 PM

An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated in Sydney to coordinate multi-agency operations following a large building fire at Surry Hills.

The blaze broke out on Randle Street, Surry Hills, just after 4pm (Thursday 25 May 2023) and was later upgraded to a '10th alarm', the most severe type of fire.

More than 100 firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) attended the scene from multiple stations across Sydney and have been battling the flames from a safe distance.

Using specialist appliances and equipment, including ladder trucks and RPAS (drones), they successfully stopped the blaze from engulfing other nearby buildings, including residential apartments.

The FRNSW's Incident Controller declared the fire contained last night while firefighting operations are continuing, with crews rotated through to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

An Emergency Operations Centre was stood-up today (Friday 26 May 2023) to coordinate the operations of multiple agencies, who are assisting and supporting Fire and Rescue NSW.

The priorities for the emergency operation are to render the fire ground safe to allow on-site investigations, coordinate for the safe demolition of the remaining structures, limit the impacts on traffic and public transport, and importantly, house displaced residents and ensure the timely return to their properties.

Two residential buildings have been evacuated and at least 70 residents have been displaced. The Department of Communities and Justice have made alternate accommodation available, which some have accepted.

Anyone who has been displaced and not yet registered, should do so via Register.Find.Reunite: https://register.redcross.org.au.

The Dental Hospital (2 Chalmers Street) was declared safe earlier today and has since re-opened.

Engineers and experts from NSW Public Works are continuing to monitor the stability of the remaining structure. They have instigated assessments and will determine the most appropriate method of demolition.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Arson Unit are leading the investigations into the cause of the fire under Strike Force Strontium. They will be assisted by specialist investigators from Fire and Rescue NSW’s Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIRU).

Two 13-year-old boys, who presented with their parents at Paddington and Kings Cross Police Stations overnight, are assisting police with their inquiries.

Police have been told there were other teens with the boys at the time, and investigators are appealing for them – and their parents or carers – to come forward as soon as possible.

Information about their identity or anything of relevance to the investigation can be provided to the strike force team at Surry Hills Police Station or by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Until the fire ground is declared safe, an exclusion zone will remain in place, which includes road closures on Elizabeth Street, Chalmers Street and Randle Street. It is expected that one southbound lane on Elizabeth Street will be re-opened this evening.

A number of bus routes are continuing diversions around these closures and are missing stops. Passengers should expect some minor delays while these diversions are in place.

For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or download the Live Traffic NSW app.

For the latest public transport information, visit www.transportnsw.info or download a transport app.

Anyone with concerns or enquiries regarding their health are encouraged to contact a medical professional, while anyone who requires mental health, welfare or other support can contact local community support services. A comprehensive list of services can be located online: