Six shops destroyed as fire ravages Torquay; arson chemist to investigate

April 15, 2024 BY

Emergency services rushed to Gilbert Street just before 11.30 pm after a fire erupted. Photo: SUPPLIED

FIRE ravaged several businesses in Torquay late Sunday night, prompting an investigation involving an arson chemist.

Emergency services rushed to Gilbert Street just before 11.30pm after a fire erupted, requiring over three hours of concerted efforts from Torquay and Geelong firefighters to bring it under control.

The fire is believed to have started at Italo’s Wood Fired Pizza before spreading to the neighbouring McCartney Real Estate premises.

A CFA spokesperson said firefighters found the shop alight and spreading to neighbouring buildings in the shopping strip.

“Six shops have been destroyed by the fire,” the spokesperson said.

“Firefighters were able to stop the spread of the fire to the supermarket behind the shops.”

“The fire was brought under control at 3am and declared safe at 8:16am,” the spokesperson said.

“A woman living above a neighbouring unaffected shop was assessed by Ambulance Victoria on scene.”

CFA had 13 vehicles on scene supported by a Fire Rescue Victoria ariel crew.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said the fire caused significant damage.

“An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire remains ongoing,” the spokesperson said.

“A crime scene has been established with an arson chemist attending the scene later today.”

Arson chemists specialise in analysing fire debris to help identify any accelerants used and establish the cause of the fire.

A McCartney Real Estate spokesperson said no one was injured.

“We are incredibly grateful that no one was injured and thankful to the emergency service workers who were able to get the blaze under control.”

“Understandably, we are all shocked and saddened. We are currently working through temporary solutions to continue providing excellent service to our wonderful community. We ask our clients to please be patient with us and we will endeavour to get in touch with you all in the coming days.”

“Our landline 03 5261 2014 has been redirected and will be available for any enquiries.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at crimestopersvic.com.au

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