Just three months after opening the Springvale bakery Chef's Kitchen has been gutted by a suspicious fire in the night.

The fire service were called to the scene about 3 o'clock in the morning on Thursday .

By the time two fire trucks arrived the building was well on fire, windows had blown out and there had already been a few small explosions inside according to witnesses.

The fire service is investigating to find out a cause. Neighbours say the bakery had closed in the days before Christmas.


One of the neighbours who called the fire service, Stu Welton, lives in the house directly behind the shop and said he had heard suspicious sounds throughout the night.

"I had just got out to go to the bathroom ... I had heard this banging in the background and we get a lot of teenagers coming [through] here half-pissed at night," he said.

"They hang around kicking signs and all that sort of thing. I just sort of put it down as that. It sounded sort of muffled explosions or somebody banging the lid on the skip bin that's there."

Then he saw the flames.

"It wasn't until about probably an hour later ... when I came back I thought 'oh that's strange' and I looked out the bedroom window and I saw these flames belting out the window.

"I was straight on to the phone and rung 111 and I had a neighbour - I don't even know who he is - he was obviously from over here somewhere. He came over and told me I should get out because of the gas bottles here. I wasn't too worred about them because it is a brick building and the gas bottles are outside."

That neighbour was Brian Hill, who had also called the fire station.

"I got up to have a drink of water, looked out my window and oh, hello. When I rang I could see smoke coming out and that room over there was bright orange," Hill said talking about the bakery's office, which sits on the right of the building.

"There was a pile of smoke coming out. That room was glowing so obviously on fire. But by the time I rang them the window had blown out and everything just over the one phone call.

"I ran over to see this fella [Stu Welton], I was worried about this fella. His is behind and there's bloody gas tanks ... behind there."

Chef's Kitchen, owned by Kester Atkinson, was opened in September. It hoped to provide chef-quality food for people to take away with chef Dean Wong at the helm.

The business was also providing opportunites for local culinary students to get work experience.