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A suspicious fire engulfed a restaurant site earmarked for development in Bundoora this afternoon.
The blaze at the former Smorgys restaurant on Plenty Road, Bundoora, left passers by in awe, as flames and thick plumes of smoke climbed metres in to the air from the derelict site.
MFB advised residents in the area to “take shelter indoors immediately. Close all exterior doors, windows and vents, and ensure that heating and cooling systems are turned off.”
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A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed the fire was being treated as suspicious.
Traffic on Plenty Road was blocked north and south bound during the afternoon. It is now clear.
Residents said the front windows were previously smashed on the vacant site and the exterior of the building was littered with graffiti.
The site has been the subject of recent controversy, with Darebin Council writing to Planning Minister Matthew Guy, requesting he reject an eight-storey multi-tower development earmarked for the site.
The Minister’s office declined the request.
See videos by Ashley Smith and Max Song below.