Fire Rips Through Pasta Factory In Melbourne, Sending Black Smoke Into The Sky

A warning has been issued for nearby residents to stay indoors as black smoke continues to billow into the sky.

What you need to know
  • A fire has ripped through a pasta factory in Somerton, Melbourne
  • Firefighters were called at about 12:30pm
  • The fire is not yet under control, and there are concerns it could spread to nearby buildings
  • A warning was issued to nearby residents to stay inside, close all doors, windows and vents, and turn off heating and cooling systems

A fire ripped through a pasta factory in Melbourne's north on Saturday afternoon, sending fumes of black, acrid smoke billowing into the sky.

Firefighters were called to the Somerton blaze at about 12:30pm, where they found the 30-meter by 60-meter building "well alight".

Firefighters were moved 25-meters away from the building for their own safety.

Firefighters were unable to get close to the building due to infrastructure damage, so helicopters were called in to try and control the blaze.

Commander Mark O'Connor told media that sections of the cement tilt slabs that make up the walls of the factory had fallen onto a nearby building, with other parts of the building also looking likely to fall.

Commander Mark O'Connor.

"As a safety precaution, we've moved all our firefighters back, and we've brought in aerial firefighting gear, so that we can get a lot of water onto it, and try and get the fire out as soon as we can," he said.

"At this stage, it's a defensive firefighting tactic, so we're fighting external to the building. We'll get the water in through the roof, and hopefully get the smoke down."

About 100 emergency workers were on site on Saturday afternoon, attempting to bring the fire under control.

Authorities are expected to continue battling the blaze throughout the night, with concerns flames could spread to nearby buildings.

Despite the 'watch and act' warning issued to nearby suburbs, crowds gathered outside to watch the blaze.

Warnings were issued for Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Cragieburn, Dallas, Epping, Greenvale, Lalor, Meadow Heights, Roxburgh Park, Somerton, Thomastown and Wollert.

Commander O'Connor expressed sympathy to the owners of the factory, who were among those watching the blaze.

"It's always devastating for owners of factories when you have a fire like this, because it puts them out of business for a long time," he said.

"They have to rebuild, go through insurances, so I can understand the devastation they're going through."

A cause for the fire has not yet been determined.