Many Australians heard the sound of bells this Christmas; but they weren't the traditional sleigh-bells of folk-lore, they were the harsh sounds of fire engines rushing to the latest outbreak.
GV Fire appliance. PULL OUT AND PAN.. to chemical factory blazing (11 SHOTS)
GV Firemen at timber yard blaze (2 shots)
Initials ES. 1635 ES. 1700
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Background: Many Australians heard the sound of bells this Christmas; but they weren't the traditional sleigh-bells of folk-lore, they were the harsh sounds of fire engines rushing to the latest outbreak.
Throughout the continent, fires were continually occurring and the temperature exceeded 104 degrees Fahrenheit -- 40 Centigrade (Celsius). Many of the bigger blazes were in remote bush areas, but some were in cities where thousands of homes were threatened. One of the most potentially dangerous was in Sydney, where a fire in a chemical factory threatened to explode a 40,000 gallon (180,000 litres) petrol tank.
SYNOPSIS: Firemen in Australia spent Christmas flat out fighting blazes which continually broke out in the searing heat. As the temperature soared to a sizzling hundred and four degree Fahrenheit, the bushland simply erupted into flames in hundreds of places. But the most potentially dangerous blaze was this outbreak at a chemical factory in Sydney. More than a hundred fireman struggled to stop the flames from spreading. At one time the blaze got within feet of a forty-thousand gallon petrol tank. If it had exploded, half the houses in the area would have been flattened. Police evacuated the neighbourhood, as a billowing column of choking black smoke surged skywards and blanketed the city. Three fireman were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of the smoke.
The firefighters took four hours just to contain the blaze.
But fences burst into flame, grass caught alight, and the inferno spread to a timber yard a quarter of a mile away. Even after the blaze was finally conquered, firemen remained on full alert while conditions hovered around danger point.