The Bankstown apartment block that exploded in flames last week leading to the death of one Chinese woman and critical injuries to another, was specifically marketed to the Chinese community.
The Euro Terraces, also known in Chinese as the ”European Garden”, were promoted as the first luxury apartments built in Bankstown on a Chinese real-estate investment website, which also featured a photo of its developer, Diab Finianos.
A glowing review of the upmarket apartments said they were constructed using a new technique, Architectural Framing System, which had ”good fire and shock proof” qualities and complied with certification standards of the Architectural Association of the United States.
It was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday that the roof which covered an interior atrium in the building may not have been in plans that were approved by the council. The private certifier who oversaw the development said he would not have approved the building had the roof been in the plans.
The NSW Fire Services Commissioner, Greg Mullins, has said that, because of the enclosed atrium, thick black smoke amassed outside residents’ doors hindering their access to internal fire escapes.
Fire broke out in the building on Thursday morning. One woman known as Connie died after jumping from the window of a fifth-floor apartment to escape the flames. The second woman, Yino Jiang, 27, is in a critical but stable condition in Liverpool Hospital.
A man who went missing after the fire has been found. Jianwei ”Jason” Zeng apparently managed to escape the fire before disappearing, but presented himself to Surry Hills police station. Police said no charges would be laid.
Residents of the West Terrace building were allowed back into their homes briefly yesterday to collect clothes, food and other necessities.
Ahmed and Maha Hamy, both 29, collected their bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmens’ suits from the apartment of Maha’s mother Nadia, where they had been stored before their wedding yesterday.
They had barely slept and were still in the same clothes as the day before. They were worried the clothes would smell like smoke.
“We are so stressed out,” Maha said.
The building is one of a number built in the Bankstown area by Mr Finianos’s family-owned and run company, the Silky Group which has been in the industry for 30 years.
A police spokesman said the apartment block will this week be assessed by council and structural engineers to determine the structural integrity of the building.
Coronial inquiries are continuing into the cause of the fire.
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