A fire which forced the evacuation of hundreds of Melbourne residents early on Thursday morning is being treated as suspicious by authorities.
Southbank residents had to be evacuated after smoke was seen billowing from a disused warehouse shortly after 6.30am.
"It is believed no one was inside the premises at the time of the blaze and an arson chemist is expected to attend the later this morning," Victoria police said in a statement.
"The fire is being treated as suspicious and a crime scene guard will remain at the site."
Police are asking witnesses to come forward.
Last week a man was left fighting for his life after being set alight in an abandoned factory in the same area.
There are reports squatters were using the building involved in Thursday's fire.
It is not yet known what started the blaze.
The Herald Sun reports residents woke to the smell of smoke and were forced to flee.
"I just got the hell out there, I was freaking out," one resident told the Herald Sun.
"I put my cat in a carrier and got dressed and ran down the stairs.
"I'm so glad there was no one inside."
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