Police await charges over Surry Hills fire as cadaver dog begins search

“We have to realize that they could tell right from wrong,” Arbinja said.


The three buildings destroyed in last month’s fire have been demolished, but about 80 residents of the surrounding buildings still have no access to their homes.

Most residents at 38 Chalmers St have returned home, Fileman said, but residents across the street at 1-5 Randle Street may have to wait up to four weeks due to power issues.

“We need to make sure these buildings are secure before we can allow people to go back inside,” Fileman said.

Efforts to clear the rubble from Randle Street also began Monday.

Senior Constable David Jarnet was seen in full riot gear as he led Polar through the rubble behind asbestos hazard tape.

A NSW Police spokesman said the demolition contractor had been required by SafeWork to inform nearby residents and businesses of the possible presence of asbestos.

“Building and environmental records indicate minimal levels of asbestos were present in the affected buildings,” they said. “By humidifying the area during firefighting and demolition work, as well as continuous aerial monitoring, potential risks to the local population have been further minimized.”

The 110-year-old building near Sydney Central Station was set to be expanded into a $38 million hotel with 123 rooms, two restaurants, a small bar and a café.

Justin Scaccy

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