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Toxic Melbourne fire contained

Firefighters have a fire at a fiberglass manufactures in Mordialloc under control.

PT1M19S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-375qt 620 349

A fire that gutted a manufacturing plant in Melbourne's south-east on Thursday morning, causing more than $1 million damage, started when an extraction fan burst into flames.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade said the fire at the Bolwell Plastic Moulders factory on Wells Road in Mordialloc was caused by a "spontaneous combustion", believed to be in the filtration system of an extraction fan.

Authorities issued an "all clear" advice message on Thursday afternoon for Mordialloc, Braeside, Aspendale, Aspendale Gardens, Waterways and Edithvale.

Aerial appliances were among many fire trucks called to the scene.

Aerial appliances were among many fire trucks called to the scene. Photo: Penny Stephens

"People located within the area are now able to resume normal activities," it said.

Wells Road and surrounding streets have been cleared in time for the afternoon peak.

Firefighters were called to the factory shortly after 6am after reports that a fire had engulfed part of the fibre glass factory. 

Workers were evacuated from the blaze that engulfed three factories.

Workers were evacuated from the blaze that engulfed three factories. Photo: Penny Stephens

Authorities said 30 workers were safely evacuated from building, and despite earlier reports that one person was missing, all were accounted for.

More than 80 firefighters battled the blaze, which cast heavy smoke downwind to homes, until it was brought under control about 8am.

MFB spokeswoman Meg Rayner, who was at the scene about 7.30am, said 10 large drums of flammable residue and fibreglass were on the premises.

Map: Jamie Brown

Map: Jamie Brown

Toxic smoke, which she described as ‘‘incredibly thick and acrid’’, affected nearby suburbs.

Staff in neighbouring sections of the Wells Road complex described heavy smoke and watching their colleagues being evacuated onto the street.

The surrounding community was advised to remain indoors due to heavy smoke in the morning, but the warning was lifted when the air had cleared.

According to MFB assistant chief fire officer Darren Davies, the fire destroyed most of the premises.

"Fibreglass burns very fiercely and there was a very heavy fuel load within the premise so unfortunately we've probably seen about two thirds of the premises destroyed," Mr Davies said.

"[The fire] moved very quickly so if they [factory staff] hadn't got out as orderly as they did we could have had a different result," he said.

Three aerial appliances, 20 fire trucks, 82 firefighters and specialist hazardous material appliances fought the blaze, which has an estimated damage bill of more than $1 million.

The Country Fire Authority, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria are also on scene.

With Beau Donelly