A crime scene has been established at the site of last night’s fire in Brookvale, with police suspicious the blaze was deliberately lit.
The fire, at an industrial complex at 106 Old Pittwater Road Brookvale, has been contained but it is expected to continue to burn throughout the day. Police confirmed they are treating the incident as suspicious, adding ” a crime scene has been established and inquiries are underway”.
Confirmed businesses impacted include Harts Automotive, Smooth Moves [editorial note: we incorrectly referenced Smart Move during a live video last night but can confirm Smart Move is in this complex but unaffected]. A number of readers are anxiously waiting on news of whether their storage items with Smooth Move have survived the blaze, but it could be a while until the full extent of destruction can be surveyed.
It has also affected a neighbouring gym, the Academy of Acrobatics and Gymnastics International (AAGI), though again the extent of damage is not yet known.
Agi and Attile from AAGI had to evacuate students when the fire was initially sparked early yesterday evening, 10 July 2023.
“We are devasted by the news of the fire which has caused our small family business to close down.
“Our holiday camps were very popular amongst the community and sadly they all had to be cancelled for the rest of the week. But we also have athletes competing at state trials this weekend and we are hoping to still take them to the competitions.
“Any help from the community would be greatly appreciated. We are setting up a gofundme page to re-establish our small club and to allow the athletes to compete in their competition season after all the hard work and effort they put in.”
Our information is that it began in the back of Harts Automotive, broke through to the gymnastics centre and then into Smooth Moves.
At 10am today, 11 July, smoke continued to engulf parts of Brookvale and areas downwind. Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Superintendent Adam Dewberry told Manly Observer that thick, black smoke emanating from the blaze will continue and should be avoided. If there is smoke present please stay indoors and ensure windows and doors are shut.
Sixteen fire engines, including three aerial and ladder appliances, and more than 50 firefighters tackled the the ‘fourth alarm’ blaze when it was at its peak, with several crews still on site.
A mix of five trucks and aerials (cherry pickers) remained all night and Hazmat crews monitored the firefighting foam runoff in Brookvale Creek (Greendale). They deployed absorbent booms as a precaution.
A Fire and Rescue NSW drone is on site using thermal imaging to locate seats of fire.
Our information is that a crew of firefighters from Narrabeen went inside and managed to save Big Air Bike Park. We will provide updates as they become available.