theage.com.au THOMAS HUNTER February 12, 2010 - 10:22AM Staff were forced to evacuate punters from a packed gaming room and bistro last night after a nearby police booze bus caught fire and caused a mass power blackout in Melbourne's east. The booze bus was damaged and nearby homes suffered a blackout when part of the police vehicle hit power lines as officers set up a drink-driving station on Wellington Road in Mulgrave. Kerry Scarlett, general manager of the Mulgrave Country Club,said the lights went out at 8.15pm. ‘‘It was a huge disruption,’’ she said. ‘‘We had 350 patrons in the gaming room or bistro. We have a rock and roll night on Thursdays which usually gets about 120 people. ‘‘We had to do the best we could with meals ... but I’m doing refunds today. Obviously with the power off for the exhaust fans the place started filling with smoke so we had to get everyone out of the venue because of the security risk. ‘‘We decided to evacuate the venue. The power came back on at 9.30pm but by that time everyone had left. Ms Scarlett said the gaming room was forced to close and had to take the details of people with money in the machines to organise recompense. ‘‘We also had squash tournaments which we had to cancel. My whole till system is still down. I don’t have a functioning club at the moment,’’ she said. Police had set up a booze bus on Wellington Road in Mulgrave about 8pm when the lighting rig, raised to light up the area, hit overhead high-voltage power lines. Police said one of the truck tyres blew out and burst into flames as a result of the contact, but the small fire was put out by a fire crew. A police spokeswoman said no one was injured at the time of the fire. Police are conducting an investigation into the incident and WorkSafe has been notified.