Emergency services say they were called to the scene about 5am following reports of the strike at Orange Aquatic Centre and also a fire alarm ringing at the Orange City Bowling Club next door.
Fire and Rescue NSW Station Officer Matt Jeffrey said two crews of firefighters attended the aquatic centre wearing breathing apparatus.
“There was a smell of burning in the plant room of the aquatic centre,” he said.
“Firefighters went into the building with a thermal imaging camera which detects hot spots and also a gas detector, but there was nothing obvious.
“There was a smell of smoke, but no fire.”
Station Officer Jeffrey said an Orange City Council electrician was also called to the site.
“There were a number of pieces of electrical equipment withing that plant room that weren’t operating including the air handling system,” he said.
Station Officer Jeffrey said the fire alarm ringing at the nearby bowling club was most likely caused by the same lightning strike.
“The most like likely cause was the lightning strike in that area.”
MANAGEMENT at Orange Aquatic Centre have confirmed the facility will remain closed on Tuesday.
The pools were closed to the public early on Tuesday morning after a suspected lightning strike caused a fire.
Management released a statement which said the facility had “little to no power” and, as such, it would be closed for at least the next 24 hours.
We've been able to contact some customers, but not all, because we can't gain access to our computer system which holds our customer contact details.Orange Aquatic Centre management
“All Learn To Swim classes for today [Tuesday] have been cancelled,” the statement read.
“We've been able to contact some customers, but not all, because we can't gain access to our computer system which holds our customer contact details.
“If you know anyone who has lessons today [Tuesday], please help us let them know.”
EARLIER: LIGHTNING STRIKE SUSPECTED AT AQUATIC CENTRE
7AM: A SUSPECTED lightning strike has started a fire in the Orange Aquatic Centre on Tuesday morning, forcing its closure.
Emergency services were at the Hill Street site on Tuesday morning to determine the degree of damage to the Orange City Council-operated site.
In a statement released at about 6.30am, the centre’s management indicated it was unknown when the pools would re-open to the public.
“It appears to have been struck by lightning this morning,” the statement read.
“We have no operating plant rooms at the moment and have had the fire brigade here this morning investigating possible fire source.”
“At this point we have Essential Energy, council electricians, and operational staff on site working to identify all the issues.”
The statement indicated management would provide further updates about the centre’s condition.
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