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Peak hour thrown into chaos by huge fire

A huge fire has broken out ne
A huge fire has broken out near Central Station just ahead of peak hour. Picture: Nathan Schmidt/ NCA NewsWire

A massive fire forced the closure of roads near Sydney’s Central station, throwing peak hour commutes into chaos.

Hours after the blaze that destroyed two neighbouring buildings, NSW Traffic Management was still advising motorists to avoid the area.

“Stay away, Use an alternative route, Avoid the area,” it said online on Thursday night.

Bus and light rail commuters were advised to visit transportnsw.info to seek alternative transport options.

But trains on all lines were still running at Central.

A huge fire has brought Sydney's Surry Hills to a standstill
The huge fire brought Sydney's Surry Hills to a standstill. Picture: Nathan Schmidt/ NCA NewsWire

The L2 and L3 light rail services between Moore Park in the eastern suburbs and Circular Quay have been stopped indefinitely.

That light rail line runs in between Randle St and Central Station.

Chalmers St and Randle St in Surry Hills were closed between Cleveland and Elizabeth streets, while Elizabeth St was closed southbound from Eddy Ave.

“Please avoid roads near Randle Street, Surry Hills during your commute,” NSW Transport Minister Jo Heylen tweeted.

“Buses are being re-routed and light rail is not running between Moore Park and Circular Quay.

“Sydney Trains are currently operating as usual.”

Traffic has come to a standstill on Elizabeth Street. Picture: Live Traffic NSW
Traffic has come to a standstill on Elizabeth Street. Picture: Live Traffic NSW
A huge fire has broken out ne
The huge fire broke out near Central Station just ahead of peak hour. Picture: Nathan Schmidt/ NCA NewsWire
The inside of the building has been completely gutted by the fire. Photo: 9 News
The inside of the building has been completely gutted by the fire. Photo: 9 News

Transport Management said motorists already in the area should follow directions of emergency services and allow plenty of extra travel time.

The blaze, that broke out in Randle St, just before 4pm has gutted the two multi-storey buildings.

More than 100 firefighters contained the “10th alarm” fire – the most severe category of fire – by 6pm, but they were still going to spend all night putting out the fire.

“Firefighting operations are expected to continue throughout the night, with crews to be rotated through to ensure their safety and wellbeing,” Fire and Rescue NSW said.

“An exclusion zone remains in place with the public urged to avoid the area.”

There are no known fatalities or serious injuries from the fire.