Fire breaks out in former South Melbourne nightclub

The nightclub is part-owned by Collingwood footballer Dane Swan and was due to reopen in 11 days after undergoing renovations, according to The Age.

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More than 20 fire crews are battling an intense fire that has fully engulfed a three-storey pub in York Street in South Melbourne.

Fire has ripped through a bar under renovation in South Melbourne, partly owned by Collingwood star Dane Swan.

Witnesses have told 9NEWS that a construction site manager who arrived at the building early this morning was assaulted by two men, who they suspect started the blaze.

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant David Cox says the attack left the worker dazed but not seriously injured.

‘We regrettably announce the delay of the Albion opening due to an unforeseen incident causing extensive damage to our building, ‘ read the statement.

Firefighters are still battling the ferocious blaze that began just before 7am and an arson chemist is standing by to assess the scene. It is believed a wall inside the building may have collapsed and all three levels are ablaze.

Most of the damage had been contained to the pub, he said, although one wall of a neighbouring building had been affected. The Metropolitan Fire Brigade says all the surrounding buildings were evacuated as a precaution during the raging fire that sent a large plume of smoke billowing across South Melbourne.

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There was no indication the blaze was part of a threat against the pub’s associates, police said.

Firefighters battle the blaze engulfing the Albion on Monday