UPDATE 10.16am: Neighbours have described their shock and alarm at seeing a Long Gully house alight.
Wells Street resident Glenys Pettit said she woke to the sound of her neighbour banging on her door to alert her to the blaze.
“Flames were coming out of the unit,” she said.
“They were big.”
There was some concern her home of 15 years might have been in danger.
But Miss Pettit said the firefighters had been terrific.
Another neighbour, who requested to remain anonymous, was full of praise for the CFA.
“They were really, really quick,” she said.
“One minute they [the flames] were leaping, and the next it was smoke.”
She too said the flames were “really high,” and she said she heard something pop out the back of the property.
“I was just worried there was someone inside,” she said.
Sue Bateson had similar fears for the occupant of the house, who she said was of a similar age to her son.
“I thought the guy who lived in here was inside,” she said.
“I shook a bit and was calling out his name.
“When the fire brigade got here they said no-one was in there, thank God.”
She was thankful the man, whom she believed was in his 20s, was safe.
“It’s just a bit scary when you see stuff like that and you know the people,” she said.
“I just heard a bang, that’s what got me out here. There was a big bang before the fire started.”
An arson chemist will attend the scene this morning.
Police have appealed for anyone with information about the fire to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.
EARLIER: Fire investigators will this morning attend the scene of a house fire in Long Gully.
Emergency services were called to Wells Street at 1.20am on Monday.
“The house was well alight,” a CFA spokeswoman said.
Bendigo senior station officer Mark Nevill said the house was destroyed by fire.
However, he said it was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries.
Four CFA trucks attended, along with police and Powercor.
Fire investigators are expected to attend the scene this morning to assess the cause of the blaze, which is believed to be suspicious.
More to come