A Melbourne community is in mourning as a mother and her three daughters passed away in a deadly house fire.

Kaoru Kikuchi and her three girls, aged three, five and seven, died together in a bathroom of their home as it was going up in blazes.

Emergency services were called to the home just after 1:40 am and found the garage of the property in flames.

By the time fire crews arrived at the scene, the two-storey townhouse was heavily smoke-logged and the family were unable to be saved.

Neighbours heard the sounds of explosions and screams in the early hours of the morning.

“I just heard this massive … I thought it was a car accident … it was a massive – BANG!” Maria Tsakiris said.

A 50-year-old man related to the family had been calling for help as the fire lit up the house and was able to escape the blaze.

He was rushed to hospital with serious burns and is currently in a serious condition under police guard.

Detective Senior Sergeant Neville Major described the scene as “very tragic”.

“It appears they (the woman and children) have all been huddled together in the ensuite,” he said.

“I haven’t been able to enter the crime scene – it’s still being examined by the arson chemists,” Senior Sergeant Major said.

“There are smoke alarms in the house but as to whether or not they are working, that will be determined by the Arson Squad.”

Police are not ruling out that the fire was deliberately lit.

“We do treat all fires as suspicious until we can otherwise prove and determine that they’re not,” Senior Sergeant Major said.

It took 35 firefighters several hours to get the fire under control, with police remaining at the scene all day.

Police are asking anyone with any information to come forward.

Photo credits: 9News

This article originally appeared on Over60.