Police investigate fire at popular Victoria holiday spot
Police are investigating a fire that tore through several businesses in Apollo Bay this morning, forcing nearby motel guests to flee.
Police are investigating a fire that tore through several buildings, burning some to the ground at a popular Victorian beachside town this morning.
About 20 people were forced to flee a motel in Apollo Bay after a blaze ripped through the area on Collingwood Street at 3.30am.
A crime scene has now been established and an investigation is underway.
Two eateries, including the Blue Bird Fish and Chips and a Chinese restaurant, were burnt to the ground while a nearby hardware store was significantly damaged.
Police confirmed three commercial premises were destroyed by the fire.
Drivers have been asked to avoid the area while preliminary while authorities assess the scene.
At the height of the blaze about 60 firefighters were on the scene working to control it.
A number of crews remain trying to put out hotspots using an excavator and cherry picker.
Apollo Bay is experiencing wind gusts of up to 33km/h today but some light rain throughout the day is expected to help extinguish any residual flames.
"Several shops have been impacted and about 20 people evacuated from the Apollo Bay Comfort Motor Inn," Police Forward Commander Sergeant Damian Bould said on Facebook.
"Fortunately no one has been injured. Causation is yet to be determined.
"We expect the recovery process and investigation to take some time. Please avoid the area if possible."https://www.facebook.com/eyewatchsurfcoast/photos/a.183124689122618/921192815315798/
The fire was brought under control about 6.30am after up to 11 CFA crews battled the blaze.
Colac Crime Investigation Unit detectives are appealing for anyone with mobile phone or Dash Cam footage to come forward.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au