Investigators believe a fire that damaged the Kelly Park Community Centre on Sunday, June 26, was suspicious and may have been deliberately lit.
Werribee Country Fire Authority (CFA) crews found a significant structure fire engulfing the two-storey rear of the centre, located in Synnot Street, at about 7pm.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought the flames from outside using water from the three initial responding pumpers and tanker operating from street hydrants, before later moving to an internal attack.
“The brigade’s quick response and firefighters who worked quickly and aggressively under good leadership managed to contain the fire to the area of initial outbreak and prevent further damage to the building was exceptional,“ CFA member Darryl Well said.
“Firefighters had contained the fire after some fifteen minutes and with the aid of the Fire Rescue Victoria ladder platform from Footscray station had the fire under control well within thirty minutes.“
Firefighters continued to monitor the situation for a further hour and a half and crews were provided food and refreshments by Werribee brigade and auxiliary members at the station.
The rear and side of the community centre, including the kitchen and admin area, were severely damaged by the fire and the hall sustained smoke and water damage.
An estimated 50 firefighters including CFA volunteers from Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Wyndham Vale and Bayswater BA attended, along with Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) crews from Tarneit, Point Cook, Footscray and city stations. Police and ambulance paramedics also attended.
No firefighters or members of the public sustained any injuries during the incident.
Wyndham Council will determine if and when the centre will be open for use again.