INGLEWOOD was in chaos on Monday night with a fire raging just metres from homes, but markets manager Rudy Perone was cool as a cucumber.
Things were just winding down for the markets, which draws thousands of people to Beaufort Street during the summer, when Mr Perone spotted staff running out of Bunnings.
The quick thinking local was one of the first to call emergency services when it became apparent a fire had broken out.
“I was the first to call in, but I saw the staff evacuating out of the front door as they could smell smoke,” he said.
“I screamed to them to evacuate because the flames spread pretty quickly over the roof.”
With still about 500 people in the area, Mr Perone began to evacuate people to safety.
“I went back to help a nearby vendor pack up and he evacuated (the markets),” he said.
“We pretty much went into evacuation mode which is part of our plan.
“I’ve been involved in other evacuations, but not at these markets here.”
Mr Perone stayed to help authorities control traffic.
“I was told by a fire warden to push people back because of the chemicals; that was the danger,” he said.
“We got people back to Ninth Avenue (but) there was a bit of resistance (from people taking photos).
“Traffic management and I managed traffic at Sixth and Tenth avenues to stop more traffic coming into the area.”
Mr Perone said the business was an Inglewood icon.
“It’s our local, it’s been a hardware store since the 1950s, it’s like a local supermarket,” he said.
Markets ambassador Vince Garreffa suggested Bunnings would not be back on Beaufort Street.
“I would bet money that it wont be back,” he said.
“I think with some careful planning (for the site), Inglewood could get a big boost in he next 10 years.”
Bunnings has not yet announced the future of the site.
A spokeswoman for the company said the staff of 40 would be relocated to nearby stores to continue to work and were offered counselling.