Fire crews were been called to a blaze at Midvale Shopping Centre in Mount Clear this evening after workers at the IGA Supermarket noticed smoke pouring from the roof of the Mt Clear Fish & Chip shop at around 8:45PM.
Emergency crews were called to the fish & chip shop with the first CFA units arriving at 8:51PM
The super market was evacuated for a short time as a safety measure but was later reopened.
It took nine fire units around thirty minutes to control with mop up efforts continuing for well over an hour.
The fire has destroyed the fish and chip shop and caused extensive damage to adjoining shops including the Vinnies store & Butcher shop.
Staff from the supermarket told us “we saw smoke coming from the exhaust fans on the roof and within a few minutes large flames were taking over the building.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation but it’s believed that the fire started in the rear of the fish and chip shop in the vicinity of a deep fryer. The fire is not considered suspicious.
See the photos first only at 99.9 Voice FM.
Updated: 15/05/2012 11:08PM
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Central Highlands Water says rainfall in its Ballarat catchments has boosted storages to almost 70 per cent of capacity.
The Ballarat water supply is 69.9 per cent full, which is 5.3 years of supply.
The storages were boosted by almost 560 megalitres during the past week.
The water corporation’s Wendy Stubbs says reservoirs are at their highest level for about eight years.
“I think we’d probably go back around about eight years to when we were last around this sort of level in our storages, which would be about the same time when Ballarat was last on stage one restrictions,” she said.
Source: ABC Ballarat
The Ballarat council is hopeful the owner of a dilapidated ferry on Lake Wendouree will remove it using dredging equipment.
The council has ordered Greg Austin to remove the Begonia Princess from the lake.
The boat has not operated since 2003 and was last licensed in 2005.
The council’s Ian Rossiter says it has asked Mr Austin to consider using the machinery that is currently being used to dredge part of the lake.
“By having low loaders and cranes at the lake, if Mr Austin is agreeable, there may be an opportunity to minimise the cost of its removal, so at the point of launching of the other equipment, we may be able to see whether Mr Austin is willing to get the contractors to transport his ferry to a suitable site,” he said.
Source: ABC Ballarat
There are fears that not enough fuel reduction burning will be carried out in the Grampians National Park before summer.
The wet weather has forced Victoria’s fire agencies to delay their prescribed burning program.
Peter Flinn of Grampians Asset Protection says the fuel load in the national park is high and he is concerned the program will not get underway before the fire season.
“The underlying factor is that there’s still an awful lot of fuel in the Grampians, there are some areas that haven’t seen fire of any sort for 50 years and if the conditions are right they’ll burn very fiercely, so there’s an ongoing need for a vigorous prescribed burning program,” he said.
Source: ABC Ballarat
A 43-year-old man has been questioned by police after a man was bashed in Daylesford last night.
Police say a 50-year-old man was found unconscious at a Jameson Street house and was taken to the Ballarat hospital with serious injuries.
Police performed CPR on the man before he was taken to the Ballarat Hospital.
The 43-year-old man has been released from custody and investigations are continuing.
Source: ABC Ballarat
North Melbourne-listed trio David Hale, Josh Smith and Corey Jones kicked three goals each for North Ballarat in its comprehensive 47-point win in the VFL grand final against Northern Bullants.
The 20.13 (133) to 13.8 (86) victory at Docklands completed a premiership hat-trick for the Gerard Fitzgerald-coached Roosters.
Carlton-listed forward Brad Fisher, 26, kicked four goals for the Northern Bullants to keep alive his hopes of winning a place on an AFL list next year.
Ruck/forward Hale, 26, who is out-of-favour with the AFL Kangaroos, was dominant as was 29-year-old Jones, who retired from AFL level last month.
North Ballarat bounced out of the blocks to score six goals, including two each to Hale and Smith, to lead the Bullants by 34 points at quarter-time.
In an even second term, both sides kicked four goals.
North Melbourne-listed utility Leigh Harding appeared to tear a hamstring early in the second quarter but returned to a forward pocket late in the second half.
Fisher, who has not been offered a contract for Carlton next year, and big man Sam Jacobs, who is out of contract with the Blues, led the Bullants’ fightback after they had been 42 points down early in the third quarter.
Skipper Adam Iacobucci was also instrumental as the Bullants kicked three successive goals to narrow the gap to 22 points and they trailed by 28 points at three-quarter time.
But Jones kicked two of North Ballarat’s six goals in the final term to the Bullants’ three.
“It’s a fantastic feeling, I’m chuffed,” Jones said after the match.
“We’ve got three talls (up forward), it’s a good even mix.”
Two people were treated for minor injuries in the Ballarat Hospital overnight after their car hit a number of horses.
Police say the accident happened on the Glenelg Highway at Smythesdale, south-east of Ballarat, about 10:30pm (AEST).
They say a number of horses were struck and two had to be put down.
Clunes residents dealing with the clean-up from floods have had to cope with looters as well.
Clunes Caravan Park manager Les Eastcott said intruders ransacked a van on Saturday night, allegedly making off with a PlayStation.
He said would-be thieves were also disturbed trying to steal gas bottles.
“It’s pretty lousy when people try to take benefit of some other person’s misfortune,” Mr Eastcott said.
The town was hit by flash flooding on Saturday morning, when, in a couple of hours, the normally docile Tullaroop Creek turned into a torrent.
Several long-time residents said they had seen nothing like it.
Mr Eastcott said about five units at the park, which is next to the creek, had been affected by flooding.
Two vans had been occupied by permanent residents.
He praised locals who had volunteered their time to help with the clean-up.
“We’ve had people turn up at the door and say `what can I do?’ ”
Across the other side of the creek, Clunes Football Club president Doug Garth had begun cleaning up at the ground yesterday morning.
On Saturday fast-rising water covered the oval and was high enough for someone to ride a jetski on it.
But the flood also made its way into the clubrooms, damaging fridges and leaving thick ooze on the carpets.
The netball court, paid for by the club without government help and used for the first time in April, would need extensive repairs.
Mr Garth said the damage bill would be “in the thousands”.
Karen Byrnes’ front room was inundated, as was the shed where her husband Mark had been restoring Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
She said the water began rising rapidly between 10am and 11am.
“Within 10 minutes it had risen eight inches (203 mm),” Ms Byrnes said.
Opposition leader Ted Baillieu and deputy leader Peter Ryan toured the town yesterday morning.
Source: The Courier On Air
The Victorian Opposition Leader, Ted Baillieu, is touring flood-affected communities around Ballarat.
Mr Baillieu and Deputy Opposition Leader Peter Ryan have met residents of Creswick and Clunes and surveyed the flood damage.
About 120 homes and businesses in Creswick were flooded on Saturday and dozens of people are using emergency shelter.
Speaking in Clunes, Mr Baillieu says councils need State Government funding to repair the damage.
“There’s a lot of damage, it’s going to take a long time to recover from this and a lot of work’s going to have to go into it,” he said.
“What’s clear is that councils in affected areas have limited capacity to actually deal with these issues and those councils will need support from the State Government.”
Meanwhile, a meeting was held in Creswick this morning for residents affected by the floods.
Source: ABC Ballarat
Emergency crews are evacuating homes in and around Ballarat, as heavy rain falls across the state.
Floodwater has covered many major roads in central and north-eastern Victoria, including several places along the Hume Highway.
The State Emergency Service (SES) says it is getting calls from across Victoria, and has been swamped with calls from people whose homes are inundated at Creswick and Clunes.
SES spokesman Gordon Hicks says people who are worried about rising waters should stay indoors unless they have to leave for medical reasons.
He also urged residents to call crews early if they need help.
“If your house is under threat I suggest taking all your valuables off the floor,” he said.
“Make sure you give us a call well and truly before it becomes a definite problem. We are inundated with calls from people saying ‘oh the waters about to come in’.”
The Bureau of Meteorology says Ballarat received 47 millimetres of rain before 9:00am today.
The ABC’s rural reporter for Ballarat and the Central Region, Caleb Cluff, says his property has begun to flood.
“As far as I can see, and I can’t get out of my property, the roads are cut both ways to Maryborough,” he said.
“We live about 10 or 12 kilometres from Maryborough. There’s minor localised flooding and I’m hearing reports that there’s heavier flooding back towards Clunes and Creswick.”
The SES is currently helping residents at homes in Creswick.
Reports that Creswick nursing home John Curtin Aged Care is being evacuated were refuted by the home’s manager.
More rain expected
Flood warnings remain current for much of the state.
The weather bureau has warned that approaching storms could be the most significant weather event in Victoria for the past 15 years.
Heavy rain fell overnight across the state’s north, with the highest falls of about 45 millimetres recorded at Mount Buffalo in the north-east.
Last night the bureau said a low-pressure system could bring rainfalls of up to 150 millimetres across the north-west, north and north-east overnight and today, and could cause flooding problems for months.
Stephen King from the Bureau of Meteorology says much more rain is expected today.
“The worst is yet to come if you have a look at the radar there’s still plenty of cloud up to our north,” he said.
SES state controller Tim Wiebusch says the Ovens and Kings catchment could receive more than 100 millimetres of rain.
He says people should also be aware of dangerous winds.
“Potentially up to 100 kilometres an hour, so we’re alerting people for the risk of falling trees and debris being across the road,” he said.
Mr Wiebusch is urging people in low lying areas to take precautions in case they become isolated.