Crews battle blaze at South Melbourne pub
LATEST: A recently refurbished South Melbourne hotel connected to current and former footballers has gone up in flames in a suspicious fire this morning.
Up to 100 fire fighters battled the big blaze at The Albion in York Street that broke out at 7am.
In a statement, police said it’s believed a site worker disturbed two men who were seen close to where the fire started.
The worker is believed to have been assaulted.
Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Dave Cox said a man was attacked when he arrived for work around 6.30am.
‘He’s been confronted by two males, both of those males allegedly wearing ski masks or balaclavas,’ he said.
‘No conversation has been held but the male employee has been subsequently assaulted.’
Acting Assistant Chief fire officer Dominic Scarfe said the fire had been deemed suspicious.
‘There’s a far bit of structural damage in there,’ he said.
MFB Commander Tim Landells told 3AW Breakfast the building was under renovation and the windows were boarded up.
? Adam Tudball (@AdamTudball) October 4, 2015
The MFB says crews were called to the three storey building around 7am to find the pub’s bottom floor fully engulfed.
‘It’s gone, it’s completely gone,’ caller Peter told 3AW Breakfast.
‘It will be gutted completely, they are trying to hold the building next door.’
The venue, which used to be Motel, is part-owned by Collingwood’s Dane Swan and Melbourne Storm players.
It was being renovated and was due to open on October 16.
? Danny Burdeu (@DannyBurdeu) October 4, 2015
Around 30 firefighters battle South Melbourne blaze pic.twitter.com/T4Itc3bLIY
? Alicia Byrne (@AliciaB22) October 4, 2015