Big fire destroys inner-city gym

Smoke is drifting across inner Melbourne suburbs after a major fire destroyed a high-performance gym in Richmond in the city's east.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade is warning people to stay clear of the scene, at the corner of Church Street and Tweedie Place.

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Firefighters expect to be at the scene well into the morning. Buses are replacing trams between North Richmond and Swan and Church streets due to power cuts.

The MFB says anyone experiencing symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure should phone the nurse-on-call help line on 1300 60 60 24.

The fire is believed to have started in the ESS High Performance Training Centre before dawn and sent heavy smoke across the suburb.

The gymnasium was used by the England cricket team during the last Ashes tour and includes sports medicine consulting, "anti-gravity training", altitude training and "infra-red sauna therapy".

More to come

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