A mother and daughter are fighting for life and a father has been seriously injured after a home in inner Melbourne went up in flames.
Firefighters had to rescue the women, aged 74 and 45, from the house on Laura Street in Brunswick, which was already overtaken by fire when authorities arrived on scene just after 12.20am.
A 77-year-old man, a husband and father to the women, managed to escape the house before emergency services arrived, but suffered serious injuries.
The women were rushed to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition.
Senior Constable Matthew Duddington said they were both suffering from serious smoke inhalation.
The man was also taken to The Alfred.
A neighbour had to be treated by paramedics at the scene.
Senior Constable Duddington said the daughter lived with muscular dystrophy and would have had difficulty getting out of the burning house.
It took firefighters 45 minutes to bring the fire under control.
“The damage is quite extensive,” Senior Constable Duddington said.
He said there was some damage to neighbouring properties, but it was lucky the fire had not spread more.
The cause of the fire is not yet known and the area has been deemed a crime scene.
Anyone who witnessed the blaze or with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au