Huge explosions, firefighter in hospital after uni fire


A FIREFIGHTER is in hospital after multiple explosions and a fire at Griffith University's Nathan Campus overnight.

Emergency services responded to an automatic alarm system around 9pm on Sunday evening, where it is believed a battery room on the 5th level of the Sir Samuel Griffith Centre - a building the university says is "a 6 star green star building powered by solar and hydrogen technologies" - caught fire.

Residents in the nearby student accommodation reported hearing a series of small explosions and flashes out of the 5th story building before it caught alight, with crews on scene sometime later.

"It just kept going one after another, boom, boom, boom, and then there was this big one that just went off" one student told the Courier-Mail.

However, just after 10:15pm a second large explosion rocked the building while firefighters were inside assessing the situation.

Police on the scene of a fire at Griffith University late on Sunday night. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Police on the scene of a fire at Griffith University late on Sunday night. Picture: Nathan Edwards

One firefighter was knocked over in the large explosion, and was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

QFES Inspector Douglas King described the explosion as "a large percussion, like a large boom".

"A firefighter has been knocked on his back, he's okay, but we just want to make sure he's 100 per cent" he told the Courier-Mail.

Whilst fire crews were still investigating the cause of the fire, there have been suggestions from university students that an electrical fault triggered with hydrogen has caused an explosive chemical reaction.

With the potential of hazardous gases still in the area, the Scientific Response Unit was called into assess the chemically adverse area.

"We're checking to make sure the batteries are coming down in temperature, they go in a cycle, so we want to make sure it's safe so we can assess the damage." Inspector King continued.