Eighty people were evacuated from a high rise building in Melbourne’s CBD late on Thursday night after a blaze broke out on a serviced apartment’s balcony.
The apartment balcony on the 17th floor of the 28-floor building in Katherine Place, near Flinders Street, was fully alight when firefighters arrived about 11pm.
MFB firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control, finding it had been sparked by a cigarette that had been thrown into stored furniture, including bed slats stacked against an air-conditioning unit.
Residents were let back into the building within an hour.
MFB Operations Commander Steve Watts said there were a number of young people – up to six – in the apartment at the time of the fire.
“We do believe the air-conditioning unit was running at the time which fanned the discarded cigarette butt which was in some stored chairs and other furniture stacked around the air conditioner,” Mr Watts said.
Minimal damage had been done to the balcony in the blaze – estimated at around $2000.
Mr Watts said the MFB had received a number of calls about the fire because of its location in the CBD.