A nightclub in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs was destroyed overnight, burning down in a brutal blaze in the early hours of Monday morning.
Fire crews arrived on the scene at around 2:45am, but by then the club was already engulfed by the blaze. 45 firefighters, two aerial unites and nine fire trucks worked into the early morning, taking over an hour and a half to contain the fire – which had begun threatening neighbouring businesses.
A section of the Maroondah Highway was closed for several hours and motorists were urged to avoid the area – as authorities suspect the building may contain asbestos panels.
Police are yet to confirm whether the fire was deliberately lit, however they are treating the incident as suspicious. Witness Cody Myers told the Herald Sun that he saw some strange activity as he arrived on the scene.
“Pulling up we saw a dark coloured car stopped outside Dakota and as soon as we came through they sped off,” he said. “The fire brigade and police were there within five minutes and started putting the fire out.”
Emergency services did not find anyone inside the club when they arrived on the scene, and the venue is now being treated as a crime scene.
Police are calling for anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the vicinity to come forward.