100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
New Mexico wildfire grows; California fire destroys mansions
More people in northern New Mexico are being warned they might have to flee as a wildfire heads toward mountain…
Southern California Edison reports ‘circuit activity’ at time of Coastal fire that destroyed 20 homes in Laguna Niguel
LOS ANGELES — Authorities on Thursday were trying to determine the cause of a brush fire that burned at least…
Million dollar homes go up in flames as huge brush fire leaves trail of destruction
The huge fire in Orange County, California, began near a water treatment plant in the middle of Laguna Niguel and…
Fast-moving fire destroys 20 homes in Orange County's Laguna Niguel, burns 200 acres
LOS ANGELES — A brush fire fueled by intense coastal winds roared into an upscale Laguna Niguel subdivision Wednesday evening…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Luxury ocean-side homes erupt in huge flames after devastating brush fire
A massive brush fire is sweeping through the exclusive area of Laguna Niguel in California were at least 20 luxury…
Fire destroys Cradle Forest Inn near world-famous national park
The Cradle Forest Inn in Tasmania's north-west is reduced to a smoking ruin after fire ripped through the building, with…
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
Bungendore divided over high school as NSW govt takes ownership of land
Bungendore High School is a step closer to reality, but residents are split on the location the NSW government has…
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Can't sow, can't grow: 'Relentless' rain hurting Hunter farmers
Matthew Dennis runs Nebo farm in East Maitland and said he is down a minimum of 70 per cent in…
Zero evidence to back Clive Palmer’s claim of staff taking ballots home, AEC says
United Australia party prepares legal challenge in one seat after candidate allegedly follows and records electoral officers
'Our fair share': ACT to push Labor for light rail support
ACT Labor is banking on a quicker Commonwealth Park to Woden rollout under federal Labor.
‘Work in progress’: Australia’s new parliament the most diverse yet
Diversity advocates welcome new additions but say there is still a long way to go before parliament reflects Australian society
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Letters: OK, Mr Albanese - let's see what you've got
Newcastle Herald readers have their say
Australians woke up to Scott Morrison and didn’t just move the goalposts – they dragged them off the paddock
Voters wanted more action on climate change, having seen first hand the impact of fire, drought, flood and ocean surges…

Church fire in South Yarra, in Melbourne's inner south-east, sends smoke, flames into the sky

The fire broke out in the early morning before daylight.

An early morning fire that sent thick smoke over Melbourne's inner south-east has partially destroyed a South Yarra church building, devastating a school community that was using it as a kindergarten.

The fire at the Presbyterian church on Punt Road started around 6:30am, and triggered a Watch and Act fire warning for neighbouring suburbs.

Residents in a 1-kilometre radius were warned to be aware because embers were being produced from the fire.

Fire Rescue Victoria incident controller Mitch Simons said the back of the church building was "well alight" when crews arrived.

"Flames were leaping up quite high into the air with a thick, black cloud," he said.

Flames reach high into the sky at the site of a building fire at South Yarra. (Twitter: Michael Pivac)

Mr Simons said more than 30 firefighters battled the blaze and successfully prevented it from spreading to neighbouring buildings, including the South Yarra Primary School.

He said one firefighter was overcome by heat stress and treated by paramedics, while another received a minor hand injury from a burst water hose.

Mr Simons said the back of the church had been destroyed but firefighters had been able to save the front of the building, which faces onto Punt Road.

Punt Road was closed between Toorak Road and Commercial Road this morning and firefighters remained at the site today to monitor the smouldering building.

Investigators have established that the fire resulted from an electrical fault.

The flames had diminished as the sun started to rise. (ABC News)

School community reeling after blaze torches kindergarten

Christ Church Grammar School deputy principal Keith Newman said the rooms at the back of the church had been used by the school as a kindergarten.

He said he understood at least three of the five rooms the school used had been completely destroyed.

"The staff are really devastated over it, it's hit quite hard," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"Our kindergarten's a really beautiful part of our school and we have really strong numbers and our families love coming here and so do our students."

Emergency crews confirmed the building was a church. (ABC News)

He said parents with students in the affected year levels had been advised to either keep their children home or bring them to a separate campus.

South Yarra Primary School, which is next to the church, closed for the day.

'It's been crazy'

Peter Macfarlane saw the fire on his way to work and saw the roof of the building collapse.

"The wind was moving to the north, so embers were starting to come out of it," he said.

"It kind of felt like it was combustive, there didn't seem to be much other smoke at that point above it, so it was like it had just started."

Another witness — Alice, who lives nearby — said she could feel the warmth of the fire from her unit.

"We're quite high up so you could see right over the trees … right into the fire," she said.

She said lots of cars were trying to drive along busy Punt Road despite the road closure.

"It's been crazy … there's a lot of police, a lot of fire engines," she said.

"I can't get to work, but we'll figure it out."

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
New Mexico wildfire grows; California fire destroys mansions
More people in northern New Mexico are being warned they might have to flee as a wildfire heads toward mountain…
Southern California Edison reports ‘circuit activity’ at time of Coastal fire that destroyed 20 homes in Laguna Niguel
LOS ANGELES — Authorities on Thursday were trying to determine the cause of a brush fire that burned at least…
Million dollar homes go up in flames as huge brush fire leaves trail of destruction
The huge fire in Orange County, California, began near a water treatment plant in the middle of Laguna Niguel and…
Fast-moving fire destroys 20 homes in Orange County's Laguna Niguel, burns 200 acres
LOS ANGELES — A brush fire fueled by intense coastal winds roared into an upscale Laguna Niguel subdivision Wednesday evening…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Luxury ocean-side homes erupt in huge flames after devastating brush fire
A massive brush fire is sweeping through the exclusive area of Laguna Niguel in California were at least 20 luxury…
Fire destroys Cradle Forest Inn near world-famous national park
The Cradle Forest Inn in Tasmania's north-west is reduced to a smoking ruin after fire ripped through the building, with…
Get all your news in one place