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Teens charged over Sydney inferno

BUILDING FIRE SITE
The arson squad have charged two young boys in relation to a suspicious multistorey fire that brought Sydney to a halt.. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short

Two teenagers have been charged in relation to a suspicious fire that engulfed a Surry Hills building in May.

Smoke poured into the sky as the blaze fully engulfed the multistorey building on Randle Street on May 25, metres away from busy Central Station just before peak hour.

More than 100 firefighters and specialist equipment were needed to contain and extinguish the blaze, but they could not save the building, which was demolished in the weeks after the fire.

Two other nearby buildings were significantly damaged by the fire, leaving dozens of people displaced.

The huge fire broke out near Central Station just ahead of peak hour on May 25. Picture: Nathan Schmidt/ NCA NewsWire
The huge fire broke out near Central Station just ahead of peak hour on May 25. Picture: Nathan Schmidt/ NCA NewsWire
BUILDING FIRE SITE
The uninhabited building had to be torn down as a result of the blaze. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short
BUILDING FIRE SITE
Bricks and debris on Randle Street, Surry Hills, after a fire caused a building to collapse. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short

Strike Force Strontium issued court attendances to two 13-year-old boys “for the offences of destroy property in company use fire etc more than $5000, and enter enclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse” a NSW Police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

One of the boys was also charged with two counts of shoplifting, that are alleged to have occurred at a grocery store on Elizabeth Street on the same day.

Both of the boys will appear at a children’s court in October.

In the wake of the fire, police and cadaver dogs spent days combing tonnes of debris to search for anyone who may have been killed caught up in the blaze, with a number of homeless people known to stay inside.

SURRY HILLS FIRE INVESTIGATION
Cadaver dogs spent days combing the debris, rulling out if anyone had been killed in the blaze. Picture: NCA NewsWire, Monique Harmer
Some of the building's walls collapsed onto the street while the blaze was burning, causing serious safety concerns.  Picture: 9 NEWS
Some of the building's walls collapsed onto the street while the blaze was burning, causing serious safety concerns. Picture: 9 NEWS

Luckily, no injuries were reported and no persons remained unaccounted for.

An exclusion zone was set up around the building for weeks to protect the community from falling debris.

Images inside the gutted building revealed how the intensity of the fire melted interiors and left piles of rubble from the collapsed walls in its wake.

Whole floors had caved in to leave a cavity inside the empty shell of a building, with exploded windows and tonnes of bricks left behind in the street.

Two 13-year-olds handed themselves in to separate police stations in the wake of the fire and were assisting inquiries.