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Fire Blazes Through Popular & Controversial Melbourne Nightclub

31 January 2023 | 4:30 pm | Parry Tritsiniotis

The fire is being treated as 'suspicious'.

(Image via ATET Instagram)

A fire has blazed through floating nightclub ATET Club on North Wharf Road in Docklands overnight.

Passers by noticed the fire just after 4:30am on Tuesday and called emergency services. Investigations are currently ongoing, but authorities are treating the fire as suspicious.

On Instagram, a spokesperson from the venue stated, "Our whole team has put their heart and soul into this venture so this has hit us hard. Thank you everyone for the beautiful messages of support, luckily no one was on board when the fire occurred so we are beyond relieved that our lovely staff are safe. It will take us some time to regroup but the good news is the fire and damage was localised and it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

"We have to extend our deepest gratitude to the person who called in the fire, and we are forever indebted to the amazing and swift response from the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade (@melbournemfb) who did a sterling job in containing the fire and saving our venue. Thank you, you are all incredible!

"Rest assured we’re not done and we’ll be back soon!"

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Seven firefighting vehicles attended the blaze which was put under control in six minutes. The police said in a statement, "The cause of the fire is yet to be determined at this stage and will be investigated.”

FRV Commander Mitch Simons told 3AW radio that due to the time of the fire the authority had deemed it "suspicious."

Speaking to The Age co-chair of Docklands Represntative Group Janette Corcoran explained the controversy surrounding the nightclubs opening last year. "To say that it [the nightclub] has been hugely controversial is an understatement. There’s been a lot of pushback about what type of businesses should actually be deemed suitable for an area such as Docklands. There has been a huge number of complaints to the city of Melbourne and the EPA regarding the level of noise. So, it [the nightclub] is in the minds of residents front and centre.”

She stated that, ”There’s also some empathy shown towards [the] new business owners. But there’s also, without a doubt, a huge amount of almost relief that [for] the residents who are affected by the noise and the associated anti-social behaviour, there will be a respite for a while.”

In October of last year, 9News reported, the council has been “inundated with complaints” about “loud, obnoxious music” and has been forced to launch an investigation to determine whether or not the venue has breached its planning permit.

But ATET are “confident” no rules have been broken, with the venue’s Jake Hughes telling 9News, “It’s our absolute priority now to review everything we’re doing.”

“Docklands has been very sleepy for the last few years – it has been a lot quieter than it is designed to be,” he added.