Brisbane fire crews had a lot of trouble controlling a blaze in a panel beaters workshop in Bulimba this morning.

They were confronted by volatile chemicals and explosive liquids that forced the evacuation of surrounding buildings.

Eric Thorpe reports.


The fire started around 8 o’clock inside Gemini Accident and Repair Centre in Taylor Street.

It quickly took hold sending a toxic plume of smoke hundreds of metres above the riverside suburb.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus had to contend with highly inflammable chemicals inside the work shop.

Glen Arnold, QFS: “The fire was quite intense, the high fuel load, lots of fuels, solvents, paints, fibreglass in a paint and panel shop.”

Local workers feared the flames would spread to adjoining businesses.

Tony Murphy, Local worker: “Firstly it was just the smell that alerted us, it was just a weird smell something not common that we smell.”

Local streets were closed off as 10 crews battled the blaze.

It took 35 minutes for firies to bring the blaze under control. At its peak flames reached up to four metres into the air.

The steel framed building was extensively damaged, but no one was hurt.

It’s thought a spark from a welder or angle grinder may have triggered the blaze.

Eric Thorpe, QUT News.