A fire is being contained in the upper floor of the Ray White Real Estate office on Argyle Street, Camden.

The fire broke out into the upper floor of the local real estate agent at around 5pm this afternoon (August 30) and travelled to the back of the building and to the ground floor igniting gas bottles out the back.

Aaron Scott a passer-by with the help of Plough and Harrow Inn proprietor Russell Lowe attempted to put out the fire by using a fire hose from the inn.

After Mr Scott first noticed the flames, he ran to the front of the building and saw there were two people from Ray White inside trying to put out the flames with fire extinguishers.

The staff members managed to leave building and move their cars from the back for the building before the fire took off.

Russell Lowe’s premises is just a few door away from the real estate office; he and Mr Scott tried to hose the adjacent shop (Looking Class) but when gas bottles started igniting and flames appeared, the two men stepped back.

A number of fire brigade units arrived. The fire is yet to be extinguished with firies watering the front and back of the shop as well as adjacent buildings.

There has been no report of injuries.

A fire broke at Ray White Real Estate, Argyle Street Camden. ( Photo Aaron Scott)

NSW Fire and Rescue hosing down the front of the real estate office at Camden.

Anyone who lives or works in West or South West Sydney with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms is being urged to come forward for testing, as mystery cases continue to emerge.

“This region is key to breaking the back of this wave of transmission and high testing rates in people with symptoms is crucial to stopping community transmission,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“NSW is on the right track with cases remaining low, however, I remain concerned that we are continuing to have cases diagnosed without a link to a known cluster.

“This is a call to anyone who lives in Sydney’s west and south west to come forward for testing with even the mildest of symptoms.”

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said cooperation is needed by everyone to play their part to help clamp down on community transmission and prevent the risk of further clusters emerging.

“We are asking anyone who works, resides or has visited Sydney’s west and south-west recently to come forward for testing at even the slightest hint of symptoms,” Dr Chant said.

“A unique feature of this virus is just how mild the symptoms can be and this can present the biggest challenge when people don’t realise they may actually have the virus – I want the community to help us identify where these mystery cases are coming from.”

There are 302 locations for the public to get COVID-19 testing in NSW, with more opening every day – 90 are drive-throughs and 22 are pop-up clinics. For the closest testing clinic go to https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics

For three generations the Clinton family have been farming in the Camden and Wollondilly areas, but with the recent land valuations and a significant increase in rates, they are asking if they can sustain it without a more equitable rating system.

Neville Clinton and his son Josh run the Australian White Sheep Stud at The Oaks on 360 acres with 500 animals; they recently received their rates notice which saw a 27.5 per cent hike equating to almost $8000 for the year. They know they aren’t the only farmers experiencing increased rates and are wondering if it is now the time the council and the community have to make a choice.

“You have a municipality like Wollondilly shire, saying that we want this to be rural community; but they are doing nothing to assist the generational farmers,” Neville Clinton said.

“We consider ourselves generational farmers. There are lots of them in the area, because it is a very old area.

“When they can mandate a rate rise of 27.5 per cent and when the economic situation is so dire, we have been through a three year drought, we have had fires, we have had floods and most people are in debt to try and keep their stock to a level where they can maintain a business, it will take years to replace that stock and then they impose this sort of rate rise without any consideration of all those factors.”

The higher rates are a result of the increase in land values in Wollondilly.

Mr Clinton and his son Josh also put that down to speculator farms. Farmland bought for high prices by investors hoping the land is eventually rezoned for subdivision – more often than not these large parcels of land are left vacant with little or no maintenance – but are a contributing factor to increased land values and rates