Firefighters have managed to control a massive chemical blaze at Campbellfield which is spreading thick black smoke across Melbourne.
The MFB announced the fire was under control just before 12.30pm.
More than 175 firefighters remain on the scene.
In a statement, the MFB said firefighters had the blaze surrounded and had significantly reduced the smoke plume.
People living in Scammel and Dennis streets and Foden Avenue have been evacuated.
The fire site is about 50 metres by 50 metres and is believed to contain dangerous goods that caused a number of explosions.
The MFB said it was working closely with the EPA to establish the nature of goods stored at the premises.
“It is likely that this will be a protracted incident and community members are advised to avoid the area to allow emergency services to continue to conduct their operations,” the statement said.
A community meeting will be held at 2pm at the Hume Global Learning Centre in Broadmeadows, 1079 Pascoe Vale Road.
The company at the centre of the fire had its licence suspended by the Environment Protection Authority 15 days ago.
The Environment Protection Authority suspended Bradbury Industrial Services’ licence on March 21 after a March 13 investigation found the company was storing more waste than permitted under its licence.
The EPA said storage containers on the Thornycroft Street site were not adequately labelled and were being handled outside an adequately bunded area.
An EPA statement from March 21 said Bradbury Industrial Services provides storage and disposal services for hazardous and industrial waste and specialises in treating solvent and other waste from paint and related industries.
As a precautionary measure, the Department is conducting an orderly closure of five government schools this morning in the area directly impacted by the Campbellfield fire. We are working closely with emergency services on this issue. For more information: https://t.co/i4aiaiFPeO
— DET (@DETVic) April 4, 2019
The Department of Education and Training has closed seven schools in Broadmeadows, Dallas and Meadow Heights as a result of the fire.
The department says the closures are a “precautionary measure”.
The schools affected are: Dallas Brookes Community Primary School, Dallas North Primary School, Broadmeadows Primary School, Hume Central Secondary College’s Dimboola Road and English language campuses, Meadow Heights Primary School and Holy Child Catholic Primary School.
Kangan Institute has also advised students at its Broadmeadows campus to seek shelter indoors.
Watch and Act warning
Crews were called to site at 6,40am following reports of explosions. It is believed 30 people fled before fire crews arrived.
A man was treated by paramedics at the scene for an eye injury. He was taken to the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital in a stable condition.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
This morning’s #Campbellfield fire as seen from Melbourne Airport – freshening northerly winds have been pushing the smoke southwards. Check @MFB_NEWS for advice. #MelbWeather observations: https://t.co/GSBzjgP5Ez pic.twitter.com/daw0RgIgqj
— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) April 5, 2019
A watch and act message has been issued for Campbellfield, Coolaroo and Somerton.
People living in Broadmeadows, Pascoe Vale and Coburg have been advised to shelter indoors immediately.
Residents are also been advised to shut doors, windows and vents, and turning off heating and cooling systems.
A Watch & Act has been issued for Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Dallas & Somerton for a factory fire that is not yet under control. People located in these areas should take shelter indoors & close windows and doors. Stay informed at https://t.co/XZY9uEcO6X #vicfires pic.twitter.com/av5ewpWQek
— VicEmergency (@vicemergency) April 4, 2019
The Environment Protection Authority said the smoke could affect people’s health.
It said people with heart or lung conditions, including asthma, children under 14, pregnant women, and people over 65 could me more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.
Anyone experiencing symptoms due to smoke exposure should seek medical advice.
Drivers are being encouraged to avoid the area, with VicRoads closing Somerton Road between Sydney and Pascoe Vale roads.
A number of other roads are also closed. They include:
• Leader and Somerton Park Drive
• Sydney Road and Truck City Drive
• Pascoe Vale Road and Somerton Road
• Sydney Road and Somerton Road
• Austrack and Somerton Road
• Somerton Road and Union Street
• Denis Street and Foden Street
• Foden Street and Link Drive
• Sydney Road and National Boulevard
• Somerton Park Drive and Truck City Drive