Click or flick across for more photos from the blaze.
UP to 10 people were unable to return to their homes last night after an afternoon fire in an East Albury shed.
Thick, black smoke billowed from the Schubach Street address from about 3.45pm.
Fire and Rescue NSW’s duty commander for the Albury area, Inspector Stewart Alexander, said 16 people had been evacuated from the area while an acetylene gas cylinder was cooled to prevent it exploding.
Insp Stewart said up to 10 of those residents had to find somewhere else to sleep last night while the operation continued.
He reported that the fire occurred in an eight by 10-metre shed that housed a mechanical business.
The business owners’ home was believed to be situated in front of the business.
They were among those unable return to their homes.
“I believe people were at the home at the time the fire started but no one was in the shed,” Insp Stewart said.
Three fire units from Albury Central and Albury Civic stations had the fire under control in 30 minutes and extinguished within an hour.
Insp Alexander said the exclusion zone of 200 metres was set up as standard procedure.
He said it ensured the safety of all residents while an E-sized acetylene gas cylinder was cooled off inside.
“Acetylene is a highly explosive gas generally used for cutting metal,” he said.
The cylinder was fully immersed in water by 7pm and emergency services were dispersing the vapours.
Insp Alexander said emergency services were taking every precaution to avoid a “catastrophic” explosion.
Schubach Street was closed to traffic until about 7.15pm.
The cause of the fire had not been determined last night.