Residents rescued from suspicious apartment block blaze

A firefighter has died while responding to a house fire in Sydney.

A firefighter has died while responding to a house fire in Sydney. Photo: AAP

Residents trapped inside a burning Melbourne care facility have been rescued, with the blaze regarded as suspicious.

Many made panicked phone calls to triple zero just before 10pm on Sunday as smoke filled the two-storey building in Mangan Street, Balwyn.

Some residents were unable to leave their homes due to the smoke and were heard coughing while on the line to emergency services operators.

Firefighters rescued 14 people, including seven from balconies.

Fire Rescue Victoria Commander John Dakis told ABC radio the scene was chaotic.

“Some of the residents were extremely lucky, we were getting calls through triple zero on scene informing us that there were residents trapped in certain apartments,” Mr Dakis said.

Residents have since been moved to emergency accommodation and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing was looking for alternative living arrangements as their homes were badly damaged.

“They won’t be coming back in this building in the near future,” he added.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation and another taken to hospital with chest pain.

No one was seriously injured and all people living at the residential care facility have been accounted for.

Detectives are treating the fire as suspicious and the circumstances surrounding the blaze are under investigation.


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