News / Emergency

Supermarket to remain closed for days after early morning blaze

The cause of the fire on Tuesday is not being treated as suspicious

The back entrance to the store is closed off after the fire. 

Mark Phillips

AN electrical fault has been identified as the cause of a fire which tore through the upper floor of the Brunswick Supa IGA in Sydney Road on Tuesday morning, causing the supermarket to close indefinitely.

Fire crews responded to the fire at the popular supermarket at 5.14am on Tuesday and took more than three hours to bring the situation under control. No-one was hurt.

The emergency caused a section of Sydney Road between Albion Street and Stewart Street to be closed during the early morning peak hour.

A Fire Rescue Victoria spokesman said by the time officers arrived at the scene four minutes after they were alerted to the blaze, the first floor of the building was engulfed in flames.

A Lebanese restaurant, Almina @ Brunswick, which occupies most of the upper part of the building was empty at the time and avoided damage. The supermarket is next door to the Brunswick Police Station and half a kilometre from the Blyth Street fire station.

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The fire began accidentally from an electrical fault in an upstairs area of the building before the supermarket had opened for the morning. That part of the building is primarily used for offices and staff facilities.

The FRV spokesman said the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

It is believed that in addition to smoke, the ground floor supermarket itself suffered water damage from sprinklers and fire hoses as officers fought the blaze from inside the building.

Witnesses reported three firefighting appliances were involved.

The fire was contained and the situation declared under control by 8.44am, and Sydney Road was reopened to trams, cars and other traffic.

Handwritten signs attached to temporary metal fencing at the front and back entrances to the supermarket say the store is closed “until further notice”.

Brunswick Voice has attempted to contact the supermarket’s owners. A spokesperson for Almina said the restaurant had not been damaged and would be open for business as usual.

This story was updated on January 25 with further information about the cause of the fire.

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