Explosions at huge Melbourne factory fire
MORE than 80 firefighters are battling a massive chemical factory blaze which is spreading huge black clouds of smoke across Melbourne's northern suburbs.
Crews were called about 6.40am to Campbellfield, with explosions heard from the scene.
Thirty workers escaped the blaze before firefighters arrived at the Thornycroft St factory.
A wind change will push the smoke south. Residents near the fire should close their windows and doors, and turn off heating and cooling systems, if they are sensitive to smoke. Drivers are also urged to avoid the area.
The advice has been issued for Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Somerton.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michael Efrom said smoke from the fire was moving south towards the city and bayside suburbs.
"We're looking west from Docklands and we can see it (the smoke) as well out the window," he said.
But rising temperatures throughout the day ahead of an expected top of 27C in the city would help the smoke disperse, Mr Efron said.
"At the moment the atmospheric conditions are such that the smoke is trapped in the low levels of the atmosphere. But in the morning with the temperatures going up we will see that smoke ... disperse," he said.
The cause of the fire has yet to be established and MFB Fire Investigators are on scene.
Residents are urged to avoid the area if possible and keep the roads clear for emergency services.
It is the latest in a series of warehouse and factory fires to impact Melbourne's industrial areas and comes just weeks after investigators found another large collection of chemical stockpiles in a West Footscray warehouse.
No injuries have been reported so far.