A spectacular fire that kept firefighters away with multiple explosions has caused hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to a long-established Hamilton engineering and boat business.
The fire destroyed the Radley’s of Hamilton front office and workshop on Glenelg Highway on the northern outskirts of the city. It is believed sparks from grinding ignited flammable material shortly after 3pm on Thursday.
Incident controller Andy Barrow from CFA District Five said the height and intensity of the flames also brought down nearby power lines that were arcing dangerously.
Mr Barrow said he was on the scene within four minutes of the call to the CFA and the premises were fully engulfed in flames by then.
Workers in the business were able to move some items to safety before fleeing the blaze.
The CFA called in the aerial pumper from Warrnambool to pour water into the heart of the blaze and avoid sending firefighters through the burning building.
Mr Barrow said a quick response by the CFA prevented the fire from spreading to boats in the business' yard and to its adjacent sheds.
About 25 firefighters from seven units brought the fire under control about 5pm but firefighters were on the scene for several hours to black out the smouldering building.
Co-owner Wendy Radley said her husband Peter had operated the business for about 40 years, taking it over from his father. She said no boats had been destroyed.