A nine-year-old aspiring firefighter - decked out with a helmet and a trolley full of extinguishers - turned up to help tackle a blaze at Flemington last night.
Tye Crawford noticed a fire at the abandoned Racecourse Tavern near his home and was among the first on the scene.
"I just came down and I thought the fire guys would need some help," he told Seven News.
Although his assistance wasn't required, the grade four student says he wants to be a fireman or a policeman when he grows up.
It took 13 fire crews about an hour to extinguish the blaze, which broke out at around 9pm last night.
Fire brigade Commander Darren Conlin said the building will probably have to be demolished.
"It's a two-storey building, about 50 metres by 50 metres on a corner block," he told the ABC.
"The fire was well involved. The entire building was on fire and the damage was quite significant and I would say that the building is beyond repair."
A 33-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage.