Police are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed an old church on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula in the early hours this morning.

Firefighters took 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze which broke out at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hastings at about 4am, accroding to Daily Mail.

Police have appealed for information about the possible arson, as fire investigators attended the scene.

Witnesses told police they heard an explosion before seeing the old church on fire.

Advertisement

The destroyed building was being used as an opportunity-shop attached to the back of a replacement Anglican church, which was unscathed.

CFA firefighter Jim Atkinson told Today the building was already engulfed by the flames by the time they arrived.

"We had to attack the building just from the outside due to the fact it was fully evolved," he said.

"Once we had quelled the fire down we were then able to gain access to the building."

The potential arson follows a pattern of church fires in Melbourne around the time of Easter.

Last year, suspicious fires at three churches in Melbourne and nearby Geelong were lit within a week in April.

Witnesses told police they heard an explosion before seeing the old building on fire. Photo/Nearly Ty/Twitter
Witnesses told police they heard an explosion before seeing the old building on fire. Photo/Nearly Ty/Twitter

This was followed by another suspicious fire at a Melbourne Orthodox church that broke out the day after Greek Easter.

A CFA spokesperson said the building remains standing and firefighters did a "brilliant job" to stop the fire spreading to the new church.

The destroyed building was being used as an opportunity-shop attached to the back of a replacement Anglican church (pictured), which was unscathed. Photo/Google Maps
The destroyed building was being used as an opportunity-shop attached to the back of a replacement Anglican church (pictured), which was unscathed. Photo/Google Maps

"Internally, the building has been completely gutted but it is still standing and the roof is still on it," she said.

The church was vacant at the time of the blaze.