At the Neo200 apartment complex at 200 Spencer Street, a fire rapidly spread from a 22nd floor balcony to the 27th floor. A team of 60 firefighters arrived at the scene and was able to quickly get the blaze under control while residents were evacuated. There is currently no indication as to the cause of the fire.
The structure of the building is built with a mix of panels, with around 90 per cent being made of concrete while around 10 per cent being ACM panels. The fire broke out in the exact region where the ACM panels were placed.
The MFB has stated that buildings over 25 meters high should have no cladding at all. The City of Melbourne has previously expressed concerns around the buildings combustible classing, with owners asked to prove that the cladding should not be removed.
Increased safety measures were made with the installation of additional fire alarms, however the cladding was ultimately not removed, despite the Victorian government’s crackdown on combustible cladding following the Lacrosse fire and the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The Docklands’ Lacrosse building, which went up in flames in 2014, was built by L.U. Simon, which also built Neo200.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews declined to make a comment on the cladding until an investigation has been completed.