Firefighters lose one, save many in Emerald blaze
BEAUREPAIRES in Emerald was engulfed in flames on Wednesday night, with black smoke and the smell of burning rubber filling the cool night air.
Emerald QFES Station Officer Clive Weeks said the blaze took hold fairly quickly and, after they received the call at 6.59pm on Wednesday, the fire "got worse".
"When (the crew) got there, Beaurepaires was fairly well burning already and it got a bit worse a few minutes after they got there," Mr Weeks said.
"It was fairly involved.
"The building itself was destroyed.
"There was a considerable amount of damage."
SO Weeks said the fire was brought under control in a timely manner and he was "extremely pleased" with the work of the firefighters to save neighbouring businesses.
"I did sort of look at the fuel depots and think, 'I'm glad we've got a bit of a break (between them)'," he said.
"The guys did a great job keeping it from the other businesses - there was some plastic melted on the downpipes."
As the site continued to smoulder yesterday morning, some business owners chose to close, or were forced to close, including Prime Plumbing owner Justin Shields.
"It's just an inconvenience," Mr Shields said.
Despite the smell and smoke, it was business as usual for Reece Plumbing.
Branch manager Allan Carroll said, when a friend informed him of the fire, he raced to the site to offer aid.
"I wasn't too concerned about (Reece Plumbing)," Mr Carroll said.
"It was just the fact that if anything was to happen, we have got hazardous substances here."
He said the fire was a devastating blow to the community.
"It's somebody's workplace that's gone up in smoke and they will be feeling the brunt of that for quite a while."
A Beaurepaires spokesperson said the business would hold a full investigation into the incident alongside police.
"Beaurepaires remains committed to continuing to operate in the Emerald area and minimising service disruptions to customers," they said.
"The business has sent one if its new mobile work trucks, fitted with the latest in modern tyre servicing technologies, to Emerald.
"If customers have any questions or requirements, they can contact Steve Burn, regional manager on 0434 307 790."