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Sydney fire: building collapsing in Surry Hills near Central station as blaze spreads to apartments | Australia news

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A huge blaze has engulfed a building near Central station in Sydney with a large plume of smoke rising into the air over the city.

Authorities say the building is starting to collapse, and flames are beginning to spread to nearby residential apartments.

Fire and rescue crews are at the scene and roads are closed around the site.

The fire has engulfed one multi-level building at Randle Street, Surry Hills, near the CBD.

One onlooker at Cooper Street has described seeing parts of the burning building falling down onto the footpath on Elizabeth Street.

NSW police said that evacuations and road closures are in place around Central railway station.

Fire and Rescue NSW is asking people to avoid the area, with further information to come.

In a statement, Fire and Rescue say they received multiple triple zero calls just after 4pm when flames started engulfing the seven-storey building.

There are more than 100 firefighters and 20 fire trucks on the scene working to contain and extinguish the blaze.

“The building is starting to collapse, while the inferno is beginning to spread to several neighbouring buildings, including residential apartments,” the statement says.

“At least one vehicle in the vicinity has also been destroyed by fire.”

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Light rail services are not running between Moore Park and Circular Quay on the L2 and L3 lines. Transport minister Jo Haylen says buses are also being re-routed.

Roads surrounding the fire are also closed. Chalmers Street and Randle Street are closed between Cleveland and Elizabeth Street, Elizabeth Street is closed southbound at Foveaux Street and other local roads are also closed in the area.

Trains at Central station are still running.

Black smoke is billowing from the building and firefighters are hosing the blaze from a cherry picker.

The building is directly adjacent to apartment blocks and backs onto a narrow lane, so the apartments and nearby offices and businesses are being evacuated. Metal beams inside the building are burning red hot, and it appears as if huge steel beams in the building have collapsed.

The dental school next to Central station has also been evacuated.

Sirens and fire alarms are going off and a helicopter can be heard overheard.

The fire has begun moving lower down the building, and it appears all the top floors are mostly burnt through.

More to come …

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