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Scaffolding catches fire after it was erected to remove fire risk cladding in Sydney

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Scaffolding engulfed in flames in Sydney
Image Credit: REUTERS

Scaffolding dramatically caught fire in Sydney, Australia yesterday after the office block cladding was removed less than a week ago because of concerns sparked by the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze in London last year.

Local media reports the fire ignited the plastic sheeting on the scaffolding of the building, just before 8am and climbed the exterior in a matter of minutes.

Workers had to scramble up the scaffold to avoid the wall of flames.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Paul Baxter told local reporters it was hard to tell how today’s fire would have played out if the cladding was still in place, but said it could have been “dramatically different”.

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The fire was contained before it could reach the internal structure of the building, which is on Macquarie Street next to the NSW Supreme Court and near state parliament.

Twenty people were evacuated and several were being treated for smoke inhalation.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze is under way.