Fire tears through Vic building

A suspicious fire has torn through a two-storey building in inner Melbourne, prompting a smoke warning to nearby residents.

About 50 firefighters were called to the blaze at a building previously occupied by Il Globo newspaper in Fitzroy North, about 5.30pm (AEST), the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said.

The two-storey brick building, which has been marked for demolition, is understood to be vacant, an MFB spokesman said.

The fire is deemed suspicious and is yet to be controlled.

Fire crews are taking extra precautions due to asbestos in the roofing materials, the spokesman said.

A smoke warning has also been issued for local residents to be aware of a large amount of smoke. They are also being advised to close doors and windows.

Il Globo editor Dario Nelli said the newspaper moved out two weeks ago into new premises in Fitzroy.

"We don't own the building, it's been sold more than a year ago," he told AAP.

Mr Nelli understood the building was slated for apartments.

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