A blaze that all but gutted the former home of the late Desmond “Tuppence” Moran is being treated as “suspicious” by the police and is currently being investigated by the arson squad. Just before midnight on Wednesday, a fire crew were called to the property on Langs Road in Ascot Vale. They found what appeared to be a large pile of mattresses in the staircase that had been set alight, causing the blaze to take hold.

Neighbours called the authorities late on Wednesday night after hearing glass shattering inside the house and witnessing “at least one” person running from the property.

According to Metropolitan Fire Brigade commander Guy McCrorie, CCTV footage showed two unidentified figures running from the property just minutes before the house was engulfed in flames. “The house is totally destroyed, except the kitchen,” Mr McCrorie told radio station 3AW. He added that the house will probably have to be knocked down.

The house’s former owner Des Moran was a prominent Melbourne underworld crime figure before he was murdered outside of a busy cafe on Union Road in June, 2009. Moran’s wife Judy is currently serving a twenty-six year sentence for plotting his murder, along with the man who pulled the trigger, Geoffrey Leslie “Nuts” Armour.

Both of Judy Moran’s sons, Mark and Jason Moran, were gunned down in incidents related to gang activity, Mark in 2000 and Jason in 2003. Moran’s brother Lewis was also shot in a Brunswick club in 2004. Carl Williams, who was charged with the murders of Jason and Lewis was beaten to death inside a maximum security unit in Victoria’s most secure prison in April 2010.

The investigation is ongoing.