Firefighters contain massive blaze in central Sydney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A massive blaze gutted an abandoned hat factory in central Sydney and forced emergency services to evacuate people from nearby apartment buildings before firefighters brought the inferno under control, without any casualties reported.

Over thirty firetrucks and 120 firefighters fought the fire in the seven-story building close to Sydney's central railway station on Thursday afternoon, according to New South Wales Fire and Rescue Acting Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell.

Hundreds of people emerging from the busy station watched from safety as the fire-baked walls collapsed onto streets that had been cleared earlier by emergency personnel.

Fewtrell told a press conference the fire was contained but would take hours to extinguish. People in the surrounding buildings were evacuated and no residents injured, he added.

Light rail services near the blaze were suspended until further notice, an update from New South Wales Transport said.

Burning embers were also swept onto a balcony in a nearby building, television footage showed. Firefighters extinguished small fires that had spread to other buildings, Fewtrell said.

A spokesperson for the New South Wales Ambulance said ten units were on the scene.

(This story has been refiled to remove an extraneous word in the headline)

(Reporting by Lewis Jackson and Alasdair Pal; Editing by Christian Schmollinger & Simon Cameron-Moore)