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Everything We Know About The SkyCity Fire

Photo @DarbyatCouncil Twitter

Everything We Know About The SkyCity Fire

The fire broke out in the roof of the SkyCity Convention Centre at 1.15pm

Everything We Know About The SkyCity Fire

What is the SkyCity Convention Centre?

The Convention Centre is being built for the APEC Conference in 2021. Fire crews have sacrificed the Convention Roof in order to try to save the $700 million building. According to the SkyCity website, ‘SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre is a world-class conference venue that comfortably accommodates from 20 to 2,000 guests in the heart of central Auckland’. 

What was the cause of the fire?

The fire is thought to have broken out when a worker left a blowtorch unattended. 

The building could collapse 

The SkyCity Convention Centre is made up to 8500 tonnes of steel framing supplied by Culham Engineering used to reinforce the concrete slabs poured onsite. 

The fire has been blazing for almost seven hours and Fire and Emergency assistant area commander Stephen Sosich said earlier this evening it was getting bigger with the potential of the building collapsing if the fire continued much longer. 

If any steel building burnt long enough the steel work could deform and parts of it could collapse. Even if the building didn’t collapse, the smoke damage to the building would be horrific. 

Response from Fire and Emergency Auckland

Firefighters are expecting to battle the SkyCity blaze overnight. Fire and Emergency Auckland Regional Manager Ron Devlin said the SkyCity fire was one of the “largest and most difficult structure fires in recent times”.

“The roof is not safe to go onto, and the floors below are quite a distance below, so actually fighting and putting out the roof fire is very difficult. It is the only safe way. It will take a while, 12 hours, maybe more.” 

“The plan was to cool and protect the area from surrounding parts of the building, but let the roof itself burn.”

 

Firefighter in Hospital

One firefighter has been hospitalised as thick toxic smoke is still billowing across the CBD. Fire and Emergency assistant area commander Dave Woon said St John transported one person in a serious condition to Auckland Hospital.

Public Safety 

The inferno is expected to burn overnight. Access to Auckland CBD via motorways has been closed off. Officials have warned people to stay away from the scene, amid fears of the toxicity of the smoke.

Fire and Emergency assistant area commander Dave Woon said “It is a large fire, involving gas cylinders … bitumen layers … it is a very, very difficult fire to extinguish,” 

SkyCity casino and the Sky Tower have been evacuated and are closed until further notice. Parts of Nelson Street and Wellesley Street are closed while firefighters battle the blaze.

Surrounding office blocks have been told to shut down their air-conditioning units due to the toxic fumes. Auckland Regional Public Health Services issued an alert for people who live and work in Auckland CBD to stay away from the smoke and close windows.

Anyone with health concerns should call the Healthline at 0800 611 116 or seek medical assistance.

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