A mother and her three children have died after a fire engulfed their Melbourne home.
Kaoru Kikuchi and her three daughters, aged three, five, and seven, died "huddled" in a bathroom as flames tore through their home early on Sunday morning.
Emergency services were called to the home in the city's southeast just after 1:40am where they found the garage already well-alight, with smoke rising and engulfing the two-storey townhouse above it. It then took firefighters four hours to extinguish the blaze, and once inside, they found the four bodies.
A 50-year-old man thought to be related to the family was also burnt in the fire, but was able to escape and is in hospital.
Victoria Police Detective Senior Sergeant Neville Major said although the investigation is in its infancy, he could still give some details.
"What we do have is some information that it's a Japanese family, and we believe it's a mother and her three children," he said, according to 7 News, but added these people are yet to be formally identified.
He described the event as "very tragic".
"It appears they have all been huddled together in the ensuite."
Police aren't ruling out if the fire was deliberately lit.
"We do treat all fires as suspicious until we can otherwise prove and determine that they're not," Snr Sgt Major said.
Thirty-five firefighters were battling the blaze when it was at its worst.