100 people were forced to evacuate from an eight storey building on George street in the CBD due to a kitchen fire which started in the canopy at a Chinese restaurant

A Fire & Rescue NSW personnel said “the fire’s occurred in a downstairs area in a restaurant and has travelled up the chimney, or the flue, up the outside and onto the roof”.

Huge plumes of black smoke and a flame from a rapid kitchen fire could be seen by nearby office buildings and from foot pedestrians whilst they walked along one of Sydney’s busiest streets.

An office worker said he saw the fire from an adjacent building and left the area because it smelled toxic, he did not feel safe as he watched the flame go up in a matter of minutes.

Fortunately firefighters were on the scene within two minutes and due to that rapid response the fire was managed to be quickly contained. Reports are that there is fire damage to the kitchen along with some water damage. This will cause closure for this restaurant and possibly neighbouring offices or kitchens.

Grease fires start when airborne fat and oil from cooking build up in a kitchen’s exhaust filter, travel through the hood and ducts all the way to the roof, blocking ventilation and reducing air flow. Built up grease acts as a ticking time bomb; all it takes is a spark to ignite the whole system like it did in a recent kitchen fire at a heritage listed building where numerous business’s were forced to close as a result.

According to statistics, the ignition of cooking materials accounts for almost half of all commercial kitchen fires in Australia, the UK and the US. Around 90% of the time, fire spreads through the exhaust system. It only takes two millimetres of grease to pose a severe fire risk and a grease  fire can burn through a typical fast food style restaurant in as little as  five minutes/