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'Human remains' found after fire guts shop in tiny town

Police have discovered what appear to be human remains after fire engulfed a shop in a rural town in north-east Victoria.

The Country Fire Authority was called to the blaze at the Whitfield General Store, 50 kilometres south of Wangaratta, about 3.50am on Monday.

Ten tankers were involved in fighting the fire, but the shop was completely destroyed, a CFA spokesman said.

A police spokeswoman said a crime scene had been set up at the shop and local detectives, as well as fire investigators, were examining the circumstances around the fire.

Arson squad detectives from Melbourne are expected to arrive later on Monday, she said.

Police are continuing to look for a woman, who is unaccounted for. Further information about her identity is not known. Whitfield is a town of about 420 people.

Anyone with information, or who may have seen anything, is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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