More than 50 firefighters spent three hours battling a major fire at a petrol station in Sydney’s west after about a dozen gas cylinders caught fire.

At 6:30pm on Wednesday night, fire and rescue crews were called to the Metro Petroleum station in Fairfield where liquid petroleum gas storage tanks and barbecue gas cylinders had exploded.

“When our firefighters got here they were confronted with a huge fire in and around a number of 200 kilogram liquid petroleum gas storage cylinders,” Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Adam Dewberry said.

“It was an extremely intense fire … the flames were leaping high and starting to impinge on adjoining properties.”

Superintendent Dewberry said there were “large rocket sounds” as the fire tore through the business.

“The noises and the intensity of this fire scared the neighbours who had already self-evacuated,” he said.

“This fire was threatening to destroy adjoining homes and there was a risk of a massive explosion.”

About 15 residents from nearby homes managed to escape the area unharmed as firefighters with 17 trucks worked to contain the blaze.

Christian Nada witnessed the fire before calling triple-0.

“I was filling up petrol,” he said.

“It was so hot and after the flames went up so high and we called the fire truck, they said they were already coming, they were on their way.”

Yousif Zaya said the fire was edging closer to homes before emergency responders arrived.

“Flames started coming out of nowhere,” he said.

“It was reaching the tree and everything, even the house at the back.”

police tape and car with burnt out frame of building
The fire threatened to destroy homes close by.(ABC News: Alison Xiao)

A specialised hazard materials team monitored the scene on Sackville Street and Hamilton Road after the fire was extinguished to ensure the damaged facility posed no risk to the community.

“A very fortunate outcome here to keep this incident from being catastrophic and causing severe damage,” Superintendent Dewberry said.

Police and fire investigators will be at the scene throughout Thursday morning to establish the cause of the blaze, Superintendent Dewberry said.

Wednesday saw an extreme fire danger warning and total fire ban in place for Greater Sydney, with dry and windy conditions.

More than 100 bushfires flared up over the past three days during the heatwave conditions.

Plastics factory blaze in Smithfield

fire fighter in smithfield stands on raised scissor lift inspecting fire damage
One hundred firefighters contained the Smithfield fire to one part of the factory.   (ABC News)

About 100 firefighters also fought a large blaze that broke out at a plastics factory fire in Smithfield in Sydney’s western suburbs this morning.

Thirty staff escaped the Vinidex Plastics building on Woodpark Road as the flames took hold about 4am.

It took crews and 25 fire trucks about 90 minutes to bring the fire under control, Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Nick Andronicos said.

“What was concerning for us was that there was some accelerants and some other chemicals located at the rear of the building … which would’ve increased the fire intensity,” he said.

“The fire escalated really, really quickly they didn’t have time to do pretty much anything.

“Given the nature of the fire … they did a good job to get out without being injured.”

A hazmat truck has remained at the scene to manage asbestos that was detected in the roof.

Investigations into the causes of the blaze are underway.

Extracted in full from: Firefighters avert ‘catastrophic’ damage after blaze breaks out at Fairfield petrol station in Western Sydney – ABC News