HomeAustraliaEpping fire destroys shops, leads to smoke warning

Epping fire destroys shops, leads to smoke warning

Two stores were destroyed by a fire in Melbourne’s north on Wednesday morning that caused an explosion and left neighbouring homes clouded in smoke.

The fire broke out at the homemaker centre in Epping and ripped through the Supercheap Auto and Cash Converters stores about 5am on Wednesday.

Firefighters battle a blaze at Supercheap Auto at Epping.Credit:Jason South

Fire Rescue Victoria deputy commissioner Michelle Young said a passerby alerted authorities to the blaze.

“A firefighter actually heard the large explosion, fire crews were on scene when the front doors of the Supercheap blew out,” she told reporters.

She said the Supercheap and Cash Converters buildings would have to be demolished as a result of the inferno, but praised firefighters for saving nearby buildings.

“It’s been really trying. The buildings are really close to each other. They’ve done a magnificent job to save for the building at the rear of the Supercheap,” she said at the scene.

More than 80 firefighters were called to the scene on 25 trucks and appliances, according to Fire Rescue Victoria, and when a building collapsed aerial appliances were put to use.

They were able to bring the inferno under control about 7.45am, but are expected to remain at the scene for most of the day. High Street and Cooper Street are closed in both directions.

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