‘Business as usual’ for Mediapoint after nearby factory fire

Mediapoint founder Jamie Xuereb says it’s back to business as usual for the Derrimut-based printer and has thanked the industry for their concern following a nearby factory fire which was sparked by a chemical explosion.

“We are located about a kilometre away from the fire, so we closed as soon as it happened and only lost power for about an hour. We’ve re-opened now and have already caught up on the time that was lost,” Xuereb told Sprinter.

“We’ve had a lot of phone calls from the industry checking in on us which were extremely appreciative of,” he said.

Fire Rescue Victoria Deputy Commissioner Community Safety Joshua Fischer said that due to successful firefighting efforts, nearby businesses would be allowed to return on a “case-by-case basis”.

DC Fischer said: “Significant progress has been made overnight by Fire Rescue Victoria with support from our colleagues in the Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service who provided additional aviation firefighting tenders to deliver bulk water and foam on the fire.

“In excess of 3 million litres of water and 40,000 litres of foam has been used to suppress this fire.

“We have got three appliances currently undertaking firefighting operations to continue to suppress the fire and we still have a further 11 appliances on scene supporting and in time going through a decontamination process.”

DC Fischer said there were a number of chemicals and dangerous goods on site that were consumed in the fire, but the exact quantity was currently not known.

“We are now currently managing runoff of contaminated water as a result of the firefighting effort and contaminants in the building alongside the EPA,” he said.

“It is a dynamic situation, and we are undertaking atmospheric monitoring so we can allow businesses in the area to return to premises on a case-by-case basis.

“There are still road closures in place and a current ‘Watch and Act’ in place for the same area issued yesterday.”

DC Fischer said the exact cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

“Our FRV fire investigators, together with Victoria Police and WorkSafe are undertaking that investigation, and it is ongoing,” he said.

“It is going to take some time to ascertain the exact cause and we also need to gain access to the scene which is an active fire area with lots of contaminants and structural integrity issues of the remaining building.

“This is challenging and dynamic environment. For FRV this is our first seventh alarm, so this is a significant incident.”

DC Fischer paid tribute to the multi-agency response, with support provided by the Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service, CFA, VICSES, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria.

“In Victoria, in the emergency management sector we work as one, in a large co-ordinated effort. There is a long list of supporting agencies such as the EPA, local government and Melbourne Water,” he said.

“I really want to thank all the first responders, particularly our firefighters, working in the most dangerous conditions as you saw from the footage yesterday with explosions and debris falling onto the fire impact area.”

There have been no reported major injuries.

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