2012 kicked off dramatically (and not just because of the fireworks).
As we watched Melbourne's New Year's Eve fireworks from the apartment of friends in nearby Flinders Street we were treated to the sight of Melbourne's Arts Centre Spire catching fire.
It wasn't especially apparent during the fireworks, but the fires started very soon after midnight. At two places near the top of the Spire something caught alight and started burning. Large balls of flame plummeted onto the Arts Centre roof below. It wasn't clear whether or not there was going to be a major disaster: the flames in the Spire burnt for a long time (so we were wondering about the stability of the tower), and the fire down on the roof also went on for a long time.
From our vantage point we caught glimpses of the surreal scene of a fire truck trying to make its way across Princes Bridge: the same bridge that had been turned into a "no stopping" pedestrian only zone during the New Year celebrations. (I wasn't able to film that.) One of the newspapers reported that a 'small army' of police ushered the truck across the crowded bridge. (Fire trucks from the south of the city got to the Arts Centre much more quickly, but even they had to battle crowds.)
Here's a 1 minute 44 second video I put together. Watch out for the balls of fire plummeting from the Spire and the flames licking on the roof of the Centre. At the end you see firefighters hosing down the roof.
Anthony Holmes January 2nd, 2012 13:05:58