SEVEN South Gippsland Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigades responded to a shed fire at Foster North on Saturday afternoon August 21, 2021, which observers said went from initial ignition to “an inferno in 15 minutes”.
The alarm was raised at about 12.30 pm and Meeniyan-Stony Creek Rural Brigade’s main tanker was first on the scene at a property located near the South Gippsland Highway and Falls Road intersection.
Meeniyan-Stony Creek captain and CFA incident controller Geoff Cooling said the brigade’s personnel travelling on the tanker saw the size of the column of smoke rising from the blaze before they even arrived.
“The firefighters requested that four more tankers be dispatched to the fire because of the amount of smoke, which was later extended to six tankers,” he said.
“The first tanker commenced its attack on the fire as soon as it got there, and was soon joined by tankers, personnel and other CFA vehicles from Foster, Nerrena, Leongatha, Koonwarra, Dumbalk and Milford.”
Mr Cooling said the fire appeared to have been started by a burn-off, which spread into the shed, which contained a tractor, three trailers and workshop machinery and tools.
“In the shed were all of those things that would be conducive to a hot fire,” he said.
“During the fire, three of the tankers were refilled at the Foster Fire Station.”
The incident was attended by a total of 22 CFA firefighters from the seven brigades.
The shed and its contents were destroyed in the fire, with virtually nothing saved or salvageable.
It is understood that the shed itself was insured but the items inside were not covered.
Cypress trees near the shed were also affected by the flames and they continued to smoulder after the main fire had been extinguished, prompting further wetting down by the property’s residents and family members during the following few days. Mr Cooling said the Meeniyan-Stony Creek brigade members were the last to leave the fireground, returning to their station at about 4 pm.