A fire that has been deemed “suspicious” completely gutted the empty Waterfront Place, Port Melbourne office building and gymnasium in Melbourne’s inner-south. A firefighter was injured while tackling the blaze and residents were put on alert as thick smoke blanketed the bay-side suburb.
The firefighting task was made particularly harrowing as there were concerns that the building may have contained asbestos due to its age. This prompted authorities to issue a community warning due to the risk of asbestos dust.
The site is reported as being where a Kuwaiti developer wants to build tower blocks of up to 19 storeys high. The local council has already rejected a proposal for a ten-storey structure on the site. 70 firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control. Police are investigating the cause of the fire. It is understood no one was inside the building when the fire broke out.