A bakery was evacuated and a firefighter injured in a fire at Brookvale.

Just before 2.15pm yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, 08 August), NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Dee Why and Manly Stations, and NSW Ambulance, responded to a report of a fire that started in an oven at Berkelo, a bakery at William Street, Brookvale.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

Firefighters arrived to a number of people self-evacuated on the footpath and smoke coming from the rear of the two-storey brick building and filling the premises. Guided by the bakery staff, they found the source to be an industrial oven in the preparation area.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

FRNSW Station Officer Rory Fegan, who attended the incident, said the fire was difficult for firefighters to access and extinguish.

Rory Fegan

Rory Fegan

“It was a tricky job because it was inside a really large oven. We had to pull it apart and fire had got into the flue. There was no significant flame but we had to chase it until we were able to get it extinguished.

“We were forced to pull the oven apart to access the fire, I don’t know if it is going to be salvageable after we got done with it,” said SO Fegan.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

Although the fire inside the building was largely contained and being monitored overhead by Manly Fire Station’s Ladder Platform truck, it remained dangerous and one firefighter from Manly Station was injured when steam got inside his protective gear.

“One of the firefighters accessed the flue by pulling off an exhaust fan. He could see there was smouldering stuff in there, so he hit it with the hose line. The water instantly boiled and went down his sleeve and he got some burns on his arm.

“It was a bit worrying because he reacted instantly. We had to rip his gear off. It was unfortunate the water got in, it’s not meant to but sometimes it happens. He had his arms up in the air and it got in there somehow.

“Their gear is not easy to get off. He had to take his breathing apparatus off before he could get his jacket off to begin cooling the burn. When you get burns, you put it under running cold water for 20 minutes,” said SO Fegan.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

As a standard practice, NSW Ambulance assign paramedics to fires for firefighter safety and an Intensive Care crew from Balgowlah Ambulance Station were on hand to treat the injured firefighter.

After cooling the burn, and assessing the forearm injury, it was fortunately determined to be minor, and the firefighter did not need to be taken to hospital for further treatment. No other injuries were reported.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

Once the fire was extinguished just after 3.00pm, smoke was ventilated from the premises by high pressure fan, and the building was handed back to the bakery staff.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

Overnight, Berkelo posted a message of thanks on social media to Fire and Rescue NSW and an update for their customers.

“Thanks to the local fireys at FRNSW. Everyone is safe! We will have bread tomorrow thanks to our generous baking neighbours. Thank you to everyone who reached out,” said the Berkelo statement.

Oven fire at Brookvale bakery

Images: Luke Gavahan, Fire and Rescue NSW

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