Fire destroys 150-year-old Sydney church hall
A major blaze caused the collapse of a 150-year-old church hall in western Sydney, with dozens of firefighters battling to control the flames.
The 150-year-old iron and weatherboard building was on the grounds of the St Thomas' Anglican Church in Auburn and caught alight sometime before 3pm on Thursday.
About 50 firefighters and 16 trucks rushed to the hall where they found it fully alight.
Firefighters entered the building with breathing equipment searching for people, but were quickly forced to exit because of the intensity of the heat.
The weatherboard and iron building collapsed soon after 3pm.
It had been a monumental job to bring the intense blaze under control, Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry told AAP.
"It took about an hour to get the bulk of the fire contained. It's been a super effort,'' he said.
A number of buildings had been at risk of catching alight, including two nearby unit blocks and two neighbouring granny flats.
A home close to the church hall suffered heat damage and nearby residents have been evacuated as the area is assessed for smoke and carbon monoxide.
The cause of the blaze is still being investigated.
No injuries have been reported.