Resident safety concerns revealed after fire in Neo200 Spencer Street apartment block

Resident safety concerns revealed after fire in Neo200 Spencer Street apartment block
Staff reporterDecember 7, 2020

An investigation after a fire in February at the Melbourne apartment complex, Neo200 revealed safety failures including fire alarms that didn’t work.

There was reportedly also a lack of fire-rated doors.

A flat battery inside the building’s fire indicator panel also emerged in the subsequent fire safety investigation.

The body corporate has been paying around $30,000 a year on fire compliance reports.

Property Observer reported a fire broke out in the Neo 200 building on Spencer Street at around 5am.

The fire is believed to have started on the balcony of the 22nd floor, and then spread to the 29th.

Fire crews were first alerted at 5:43am and the incident was upgraded in severity after they thought the building to have combustible cladding.

It has since been reported by The Australian Financial Review that the Neo200 tower only had 1.5 per cent of its facade covered in combustible polyethylene-core cladding.

The fire only directly damaged six apartments.

But the failure of essential safety measures resulted in total evacuation of the building for 11 days after the fire, Melbourne Fire Brigade Commander Mark Carter has noted to a function attended by surveyors.

The ABC reported 15 fire trucks, two ladder-platform trucks and 60 firefighters were used to extinguish the fire, which was brought under control at 6:49am.

Neo200 is 41 storey building with 371 residential apartments, ground floor retail tenancies and entrances to both Spencer and Little Bourke Streets.

Designed by Hayball Architects, the building is distinguished by its yellow podium lights presenting to Spencer and Little Bourke Streets and its distinctive golden curvilinear foyer.

The building’s construction was completed in 2007 by LU Simon builders and was awarded the 2008 Master Builder Association’s – Excellence in Construction Award.

There was a small fire on New Year's Eve in 2015.


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