Fire threat in Melbourne's north-west as three blazes burn

Fire threat in Melbourne's north-west as three blazes burn

A nursing home came under threat as firefighters battled three deliberately lit blazes in Melbourne's north-west over the course of six hours last night.

Between 8pm and 2am, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade was called to the Maribyrnong Valley Parklands and Brimbank Park in Keilor East for deliberately lit fires three times.

The most recent, about 1.30am on Wednesday, burnt more than 10 hectares on a firefront just over a kilometre long, MFB communications controller Trevor Woodward said.

He said that although several sleepers were burned, a rail embankment near the park's eastern edge acted as a fire break, and crews were able to stop the fire spreading to homes and the nursing home in Sterling Drive, Keilor East.

The first fire was reported just before 8pm on Tuesday, Mr Woodward said, and burnt about 10 hectares of grass and scrub.

"An hour later, whilst crews were still ... blackening out, a second fire was lit just a short distance away on the other side of the Maribyrnong River," he said.


The second fire burnt one hectare before firefighters brought it under control.

Police are investigating reports that teenagers were seen in the area when the fires were lit.

In a separate incident, a derelict house in Cheltenham was destroyed in what firefighters believe was a suspicious blaze.

Fire crews arrived at the house in Garfield Street, Cheltenham just before 4.30am but could do little to save the vacant building.


"Damage to the small dwelling is so severe that a council building surveyor is expected to be called in later today to authorise its demolition," Mr Woodward said.

The damage has been estimated at between $150,000 and $200,000.

Adrian Lowe

Adrian Lowe is Domain's news editor. Before Domain, Adrian was at The Age: as night news editor, AM homepage producer, breaking news reporter and court reporter.

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