Four children under 10 have died after becoming trapped inside their home as it was engulfed in flames in southwest Melbourne.
Firefighters were called to a Werribee address just before 1am on Sunday, to find the roof of a single-storey brick house “very well alight”.
Werribee fire brigade Lieutenant Damien Molloy said: “Fire had already broken through the roof and was already coming out the front door,.”
Lt Molloy said crews were aware the children were trapped inside the house, but the intensity of the blaze made it difficult to find them.
“With the roof already being compromised and the tiles collapsing, it was unsafe for our members to be able to proceed initially.”
It took more than 30 firefighters just under an hour to bring it under control.
Two girls, aged one and six, and two boys, aged three and 10, were found dead inside.
The parents and 8-year-old brother of the children are in hospital, being treated for smoke inhalation-related injuries.
Scores of tributes including flowers , candles and toys have been left at the address.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the parents.
Victoria police experts are investigating the cause of the fire and will prepare a report for the coroner.