| 30.07,18. 05:11 PM |
General Gordon Hotel in Sydney catches fire, roof collapses
Sydney pub gutted by far (ABC News)
A pub in one of Sydney's most historic areas has caught fire, causing its roof to collapse.
Fire crews raced to the General Gordon Hotel in Sydenham this afternoon after smoke began to billow from the second floor.
More than 60 firefighters responded to the incident and established an exclusion zone around the scene.
Six people had to be evacuated from the hotel, which was recently sold for $18 million and was under renovation.
Fire and Rescue NSW Inner West Duty Commander Gary Meagher said the pub "had a lot of timber inside".
"It goes up pretty quick," he said.
"They won't be drinking there for a while."
Flames spread to the roof of a boarding house next door, where several people were evacuated.
"Stay away from this area, because these roads will be closed for a while, especially during peak hour," he said.
Fire and Rescue NSW said there was a total roof collapse and wall collapse.
There were 20 gas cylinders inside the building which did not ignite.
A witness described the flames as "ferocious".
"The pub's on half an acre," Angel, who did not wish to give his last name, said.
"The bottle shop's consumed, the gyros shop next door I think is severely damaged."
"The main part of the building, upstairs, you can see the flames reaching through the windows"
A boarding house next door was evacuated.
Gleeson Avenue was closed at Burrows Avenue, with police officers redirecting traffic.
Trains were directed to bypass nearby Sydenham Station, but had resumed their usual timetable within an hour.
At the weekend, the pub's management shared an image of renovations in progress on Facebook.
There were plans for a new "sophisticated beer garden" and dining and bar areas.
The 1930's-era building was designed by architect Sidney Warden, who worked on many of Sydney's best-known pubs including The Henson, The Lansdowne Hotel and The Old Clare Hotel.