| 23.08,18. 10:36 PM |
Police investigating fire in abandoned Melbourne warehouse as thick smoke blankets city
Police are now investigating a factory fire that broke out in an abandoned building in south Melbourne.
Six Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) crews and 46 firefighters arrived at the warehouse on Buckhurst Street about 5.45pm when the fire broke out.
The blaze took hold of the two-storey building, forcing firefighters to use a ladder platform on the back of a firetruck to attempt to extinguish it from above.
It is believed no one was in the building at the time the fire started.
Victoria Police confirmed in a statement today that detectives will be looking into the warehouse fire.
"Port Phillip Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating and are keen to speak to anyone that may have seen any suspicious activity in the area," the statement said.
Meanwhile, thick black plumes of smoke were seen rising above the building and across Melbourne’s south, Docklands and the CBD.
Early investigations into the fire have been unable to determine its cause.
While the fire is now under control, firefighters will remain on the scene overnight to monitor the building and have assured nearby residents there is no threat to the public.
No other buildings in the vicinity of the warehouse were damaged.
Paramedics were also on the scene, as emergency services voiced earlier concerns about the potential for asbestos to have been in the warehouse.
Police officers have since established a cordon around the building, blocking off streets.
Buckhurst Street remains closed between Ferrar and Montague Streets, and Kerr Street at Gladstone Street is also blocked.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.