The building housing the Jamieson Park Paddle shop and Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club has been destroyed by fire.
At 5.30pm this evening (Saturday, 27 November) emergency services received numerous Triple Zero (000) calls reporting the Sailing Club and Kayak Hire building was on fire at Jamieson Park, The Esplanade, Narrabeen. The calls automatically triggered a second alarm response from Fire and Rescue NSW, with multiple crews dispatched to the scene.
The operators of Jamieson Park Paddle rushed to save as many watercraft as possible before flames fully engulfed the building. A total of 27 firefighters from Narrabeen, Dee Why, Mona Vale, Avalon, Manly and Forestville Stations attended the incident.
The location of the fire meant there was no direct access to water supply for the fire hoses. Firefighters set up a relay pump to take water from the nearest street supply and also set up a drafting pump to use water directly from Narrabeen Lagoon to douse the flames. NSW Police meanwhile established an exclusion zone and moved bystanders to a safe distance.
After firefighters confirmed that nobody had been trapped inside the burning building, they established a defensive strategy, attacking the blaze from the exterior of the building in breathing apparatus.
The building contained a number of highly combustible materials, including paddle craft and kayaks, creating an intense fire that was difficult to extinguish. The smoke plume could be seen from across the district, attracting bystanders on the other side of Narrabeen Lagoon.
Multiple NSW Ambulance crews arrived to standby for firefighter safety. By 6.30pm, firefighters had established fire control but as parts of the roof began to collapse, they requested the ladder platform from Manly Fire Station to attack hot spots within the building.
The Hazmat crew from Forestville Station set up containment booms to prevent chemical leaching and oily residue from flowing into the lagoon, given the large amounts of water being pumped through the building.
A nearby resident who spoke with the Northern Beaches Advocate on condition of anonymity said that there had been trouble with the Jamieson Park paddle shop building and repeated warnings to Council had been ignored.
“I’m not sure how the fire started but what I do know is that they’ve been slowly extending on that building, adding to it, doing alterations and changing the function of the building, serving food and turning into a cafe restaurant, really pushing the boundaries and limits.
“We’ve called the Council a couple of times, and they’ve come out and had them clean the building up a bit, but they still continue to do building without any approvals and pushing the boundaries. I think this is just a result of using a public space that’s not really designed for that,“ said the resident.
The main fire was extinguished by 7.00pm, but hot spots were not fully suppressed until after 8.00pm. An investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted.
NSW Police Northern Beaches Area Command have requested anyone with information about the fire please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Images: Supplied, Rhydian Ward, Northern Beaches Advocate
The Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club has set up a fundraising campaign to help the club recover from the fire.