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Apartment building blaze at East Melbourne forces 20 people to evacuate

MML

A fire that forced the evacuation of a residential building in East Melbourne overnight may have been deliberately lit.

20 people had to be evacuated from the two-storey Hoddle Street building, to spend what was left of their Christmas night in temporary accommodation.

Crews received the call around 11.30pm on Christmas Day.

21 firefighters brought the blaze under control within 35 minutes, containing it to the room of origin on the first floor.

Of those evacuated, eight were done so with the assistance of firefighters.

A police investigation is underway.

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