AN ELECTRICAL fault is being blamed for an emergency evacuation at a Tamworth bowling club on Thursday afternoon.
A wake, a bowls tournament for children and locals enjoying lunch were evacuated from the Tamworth City Bowling Club, after smoke was detected inside at about 2pm.
The smoke set off the fire alarms of the club, on the corner of Brisbane and Napier Streets, and saw the club's occupants marched out onto the greens as emergency services were deployed.
Fire and Rescue NSW crews deployed four tankers, which were backed by police and paramedics, after the emergency call for reports of smoke in the front bar.
Fire and Rescue NSW Duty Commander Peter Nugent said crews suspected an electrical fault in the switchboard at the club was to blame.
"It took [crews] awhile to find where they assumed it had started, the point of origin, and it looks like one of the sub-boards downstairs," he told the Leader at the scene.
"It's really hot and had a lot of smoke coming out of it so we're just cutting the power off to get an electrician to have a look.
"There was a lot of smoke."
Inspector Nugent said it was likely an overloaded circuit or older equipment sparked the fire.
"This is the standard response to find what is happening [at a fire such as this]," he said.
The scene was declared safe a short time later and the occupants were allowed to return inside.