ARARAT - It took up to 60 people more than two hours to control a ferocious fire that ripped through the interior of the Ararat R&B Dry Cleaners in Vincent Street last Thursday night.
The fire took hold in the roof of the business just after 7pm with CFA crews from Ballarat and Stawell along with SES responding to the blaze.
Country Fire Authority District 16 Operations Manager, Chris Eagle said crews did an amazing job to prevent the fire from spreading to an adjoining printing business.
He said he believed up to 70 per cent of the business had been damaged in the fire.
"We had seven trucks and three SES crew on site, that was about 60 people working to control the fire," he said.
"The roof of the building was well involved when crews arrived, but they were able to contain the flames to just the dry cleaners."
Mr Eagle said the fire burnt through different parts of the roof and was fuelled by clothes that were hanging in the building.
He said firefighting crews had to make sure on site dry cleaning chemicals were secure as they worked to control the blaze.
"They had to be very careful because of the added chemical components and hanging clothes which gave oxygen to the fire and meant it burned and spread quickly."
The fire was brought under control shortly after 9pm with traffic diverted around the scene and streets in the central business district closed for some time.
Mr Eagle said crews worked to contain and extinguish the fire before ensuring the safety and structural integrity of the building for police to enter and begin their investigations.
At this stage the exact cause of the fire remains unknown with detectives from the Ararat Crime Investigation Unit now undertaking an investigation in to the fire.
CFA investigators concluded that the fire most likely originated in the centre of the building, but were unable to determine a cause. They believe there are no suspicious circumstances.