A man in his 50s has died and another man in his 70s was airlifted to a Melbourne-based hospital after a house fire in Traralgon on Monday night.
Emergency services arrived at the blaze on Cowell Court just before 11pm.
An arson chemist arrived at the property on Tuesday morning to assist in determine the cause of the fire, which is under investigation by Arson Squad detectives.
Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit Detective Sergeant Simon Ross said police believe the cause of the fire was not suspicious.
“As far as I can tell the actual fire was contained to the front living room with smoke spreading through the house and possibly made it difficult for the occupants to make it out of the house,” he said.
“The males succumbed to what we believe is smoke inhalation and one has died as a result and the second male is still in a life threatening condition in hospital.
“There’s extensive fire damage to the front living room and there is smoke and water damage throughout the house but it hasn’t been completely engulfed.
“It’s a pretty small court, the occupants were known to people here, it is an absolute tragedy.”
Cowell Court resident Vanessa Hocking said she was worried about the man in hospital.
“He is a lovely man, he is such a great guy he would walk past the house always say a yap,” she said.
Ms Hocking said she was woken up by the sirens on Monday night and decided to have a look when she heard how close they were getting to her street.
“When I came out of my home there was a fire truck in the court, we ended up with four fire trucks, five cop cars and three ambulances here,” she said.
Investigators urge anyone who witnessed the incident or with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or file a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.