Loud explosions were heard as a large suspicious blaze engulfed an Essendon home on Tuesday night and threatened neighbouring houses.
More than 13 fire trucks were dispatched to the Nimmo Street home in Melbourne's north-west about 10.30pm. Neighbours were told to take shelter as dangerous embers and smoke filled the area.
Multiple triple zero calls were made by locals who reported hearing loud bangs and screaming.
Residents were told to keep their windows and doors closed and air-conditioning units turned off as 40 firefighters launched an aggressive attack to save neighbouring homes.
Essendon residents were also told to keep clear of the area with many locals on social media reporting a heavy police and heavy rescue presence.
Strong winds fuelled the flames and it took firefighters 40 minutes to bring it under control. A neighbouring home sustained minor damage.
Paramedics were also called but no one was home at the time.
News Limited reported the distraught owner of the property returned to find it destroyed by the blaze.
Fire crews worked through Wednesday morning to extinguish the fire and the investigation has been handed over to the Victoria Police arson squad.
It is unclear how the fire began or why it has been deemed suspicious.
Anyone know what's going on in Essendon/Niddrie?? Lots of cops / heavy rescue/ fire trucks??? The Planets, Op. 32 (@awyeahthtsmyjam) January 2, 2018
Sirens been going off through Essendon for like an hour.??? wow you can fit a lot of letters here now how weir (@georgjar) January 2, 2018
So many sirens in Essendon tonight??? Kat_Kat (@songstargame) January 2, 2018