Huge Blaze Engulfs Seven-Story Building in central Sydney, Officials Announced

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According to report, Dozens of people were evacuated when a vacant seven-story building in central Sydney caught fire. There were no reports of injuries but nearby residential buildings were damaged in the blaze.

A large fire engulfed a seven-story building in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, causing parts of the structure to collapse and sweeping smoke and ash around the city.

Emergency services said they sent more than 100 firefighters, with 20 fire engines, who were "working to contain and extinguish the blaze" on Randle Street near the city's Central Station.

Images posted on social media showed flames almost as high as the building itself shooting into the sky.

Authorities said more than 50 people were evacuated from the area close to the city's Central Station.

The public is urged to avoid the area as firefighting operations continue," the fire service said, as the sound of emergency vehicle sirens echoed through the city streets.

One firefighter received a minor burn to his right arm and was treated by paramedics the service said.

Firefighting operations are expected to continue throughout the night.

"Terrible fire in Surry Hills in my electorate. Please stay safe and listen to instructions from emergency services," politician Tanya Plibersek said in a statement on Twitter.

Light rail services near the blaze were suspended until further notice, New South Wales Transport said.

A spokesperson for the New South Wales Police told the BBC that there were currently no reports of injuries.

Burning embers were also swept on to a balcony of a nearby building, television footage showed.

The building in Sydney's Surry Hills district was an old hat factory that was planned to be converted into a hotel, according to a recent development application lodged with city authorities.

Emergency services believe the building itself was vacant when the blaze started.

"All you could feel when standing here was heat on your face from the flames," one witness told the BBC News.

"And when they started to move us back, a car just in front of the building caught fire."

Fire and Rescue NSW  referring to the state of New South Wales said the building inferno initially spread to neighboring buildings, including residential apartments.

"The fire is now effectively contained but it will be a very substantial and prolonged duration of firefighting to extinguish the fire completely," Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said.