8 Indians escape as building catches fire


Residents, who were sharing a flat above the internet Cafe in Sydney Road, Brunswick, were woken by a loud bang just before 1.30 am local time, according to 'The Age'.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade acting commander Steve Dorman said the group were prompted by smoke alarms to escape as the cafe's front windows blew out and the brick two-storey building caught fire.

The fire gutted the cafe and and a ground-floor residence at the rear of the building where the cafe owners' lived. Dorman said the pair were luckily out at the time of the fire but returned to find their business and home destroyed. The upstairs flat escaped damage as about 25 firefighters spent an hour struggling to bring the fire under control. None of the upstairs residents were injured.

The damage to the cafe was estimated at about USD 200,000. Minutes earlier, just before 1.15 am, a fire had spread quickly through the Nutex Paper warehouse in Nicholson Street in East Brunswick as paper products fuelled the flames. Firefighters managed to contain the damage to the rear of the brick single-storey building.

Both the fires are considered suspicious and are being investigated by police. A Victoria Police spokeswoman said it was too early to say what had caused the cafe explosion. The cafe fire led to a large gas leak and barricades were erected to ensure the building did not collapse.

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