Fire has ripped through iconic Melbourne theatre, La Mama, in the early hours of this morning.
As reported by The Age, around 50 firefighters and 18 trucks were called to the Carlton theatre around 5am this morning, with the fire taking roughly an hour to contain, with no injuries reported. It's believed that the roof of the theatre has collapsed and the internal structure has been gutted.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, with fire investigators expected to visit the scene today.
La Mama known as one of the arts community's most influential theatre companies, with the likes of Cate Blanchett and David Williamson among its alumni though its 51-year tenure.
La Mama's staff have thanked supporters this morning, with a tweet saying they will "update everyone in due time".
Tributes to the theatre continue to roll in on social media.
Thank you everyone for your support and thoughts - we sincerely appreciate it. Our staff are on site working through it together. We will update everyone in due time.— La Mama Theatre (@LaMamaTheatre) May 18, 2018
With so much gratitude and appreciations, La Mama and all. pic.twitter.com/iW6Zqla2hm
Very saddened to hear the news about La Mama this morning. https://t.co/eQE6MoiBAJ— Melbourne Festival (@melbfestival) May 18, 2018
Such terrible news! But we are all rallying with you and ready to lend a hand and whatever necessary ! Sending love and very best to all the amazing la mama team.— Chris Bendall (@cdbendall) May 19, 2018
My heart is breaking this morning. I just heard that the iconic La Mama Theatre 8n Melbourne has burnt down. 51 years of theatre, including 3 of my shows.— Wayne Tunks (@waynetunks) May 19, 2018
I love this theatre, the staff are beautiful people. Sending every piece of love I have to Liz and all the team xxx pic.twitter.com/FoXoZyLjaA
at la mama we've been moved, bored, challenged, heartbroken, seen work re-lived on the mainstage and ourselves worked tirelessly on failures, gems, stepping stones. that tiny theatre isn't gone; it's as ephemeral as the shows long finished. we will rebuild, make again, again.— chris (@tophersum) May 18, 2018
The fire at Melbourne's La Mama Theatre on Saturday was reportedly caused by an electrical fault.
According to Artshub, the venue's artistic director, Liz Jones, said "It was started by an electrical fire under the stairs; there are no suspicious circumstances and that is just such a relief to me, because I couldn’t have borne the negatives that come with someone actually doing this on purpose or even by negligence".
Jones confirmed that La Mama will undergo restoration rather than demolition.
"'Basically the gables have got to come down because they're very unsupported, but once they come to the box structure, and you'll know that La Mama is very square… and that of course braces itself and hopefully they can brace that," Jones said.
"They're dismantling it brick by brick, very carefully, and storing all the bricks downstairs so they can be reused."