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Bushfire battle on university grounds
Written by Danyon Newcombe / Published on 2 February 2017

Photo credit: Shane Brigg

A bushfire broke out today on USC grounds which has been worrying locals and firefighters alike. 

The fire, which broke out at approximately 3:15pm has been the main attraction for locals.

Photo credit: Danyon Newcombe

Twelve fire trucks and two water-bombing helicopters were on the scene as well as police and the SES.

At one stage the student accommodation street, Varsityview Court, was blocked off forcing locals to park elsewhere. 

The fire has now been controlled and emergency services have allowed locals to return to their homes, however they are advised to keep doors and windows closed until the smoke passes.

First responder Shane Brigg had just finished at the university when he noticed the blaze. 

“I was walking home and had just finished chatting with [a friend] near the Uni Club and saw smoke rising,” he said. 

 “So I ran over to find the bush at the back of the university near UniCentral alight.

“It was fairly small then so I immediately called the 000 and they arrived within five minutes.”

In the meantime, he decided to try do something about it. 

“I set to putting out one section of the fire front until university security and the fireys arrived,” he said.

“Old school style using green branches.”

The firefighters arrived on the scene and started getting ready keeping the people safe.

The sight was quite impressive with onlookers having front row seats to a helicopter collecting water at the university lake and dumping it on the fire as firefighters worked on the ground. 

“The emergency services were prompt and brilliant in their work,” Shane said.

“The university’s security were also prompt in their efforts as well.” 

Warnings were delivered to nearby residents by police, and a nearby street was evacuated for approximately one hour.

"A couple of houses were threatened and it was the quick response of the ground crews supported by the aerial water-bombing choppers that probably saved the houses,” Shane said.

The emergency services have reported the fire under control and nobody was injured.

The neighbourhood was still full of smoke after the fire was contained.

Fire crews will remain on-site to monitor throughout the night.

It is unclear as to how the fire was started but police are investigating.

If you know anything about the cause of the fire, please do not hesitate to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Photo credit: Shane Brigg

Photo credit: Shane Brigg

Photo credit: Danyon Newcombe

Photo credit: Danyon Newcombe

Photo credit: Shane Brigg

Photo credit: Shane Brigg

The firefighting helicopter takes water from the nearby lake. Video credit: Shane Brigg