A man has been charged with three counts of murder after a fire in Melbourne’s west claimed the lives of three squatters.
The fire broke out just before midnight on Wednesday in an abandoned factory in Footscray.
Three bodies were found inside the building after the blaze was put out. Police believe they were two men and a woman.
A handful of squatters are known to have been living in the old rope factory, but residents said there had never been any trouble.
Police charged the 52-year-old man after he was arrested on Swanston Street in Melbourne’s CBD on Thursday afternoon.
He was charged overnight with three counts of murder, three counts of arson causing death and arson.
He appeared at an out-of-sessions court hearing and has been remanded in custody to appear again later today.
The building is owned by developers who recently received approval to turn the site into apartments.
The factory is near Footscray City College, a secondary school, and the principal and police had previously tried to move the squatters on.
People have been squatting there for the last one or two years.
The Maribyrnong City Council said it had also spoken to some people living there and directed them to housing support services.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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