Police are investigating a fire that broke out in a building containing several vacant shops in Melbourne’s north this morning.
Police described the fire at the one-storey building on High Street in Preston as “suspicious”.
They urged anyone with information to come forward.
Around 60 firefighters were called to the scene around 3am.
They battled the fire for nearly three hours until it was declared under control.
Firefighters evacuated residents from an apartment building next door due to concerns they were at risk from the blaze.
Police said in a statement that the building, which was being renovated, had been “significantly damaged”.
An assigned chemist will examine the scene for possible clues as to how the fire started.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or through their website.