Air-conditioner causes fire at Strathdale gym

AN air-conditioner was the cause of a fire at Feelgood Fitness in Strathdale yesterday afternoon – the third fire caused by evaporative coolers in two weeks.

Fire crews contained the fire in 15 minutes after they were called out to the Edwards Road gym  about 3pm.

Crews used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire in the roof and directed a jet of water to extinguish the flames.

Gym receptionist Jordyn Butler said about 20 people were in the building when the fire started.

Flames and a thick plume of black smoke could be seen coming from the roof and passersby alerted management to the fire at the back of the property.

“Everyone was pretty quick to get out and luckily everyone was quite relaxed about it,” Ms Butler said.

Bendigo Fire Station senior station manager Darren Eenjes said the damage was isolated to the air-conditioning unit and was not extensive.

Energy Safe Victoria and Bendigo’s fire investigation team will confirm the cause of the fire. 

Mr Eenjes said it was the third fire caused by an air-conditioner in the past two weeks.

“It is a concern,” Mr Eenjes said. 

“It’s because we’ve had a spate of hot weather and people are starting to use them more.” 

He encouraged owners to get their units serviced.

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