Arson is now suspected in a major fire which gutted a martial arts academy in Adelaide, bringing parts of the CBD to a standstill.
Police have taken over investigation of the blaze from the Metropolitan Fire Service amid suspicions it was deliberately lit.
Tuesday’s fire gutted the three-storey building off Hindley Street with four people treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.
The MFS said the fire appeared to have started in unwanted furniture and mattresses that were left in a back lane.
“They have caught fire somehow and spread quite rapidly to a car and then into the roof of the premises,” MFS operations commander David Goreham told ABC radio.
The Adelaide City Council said it did not have any knowledge of squatters using the laneway behind the building or the building itself.
“It is private property secured by a gate and inaccessible to the general public,” the council said in a statement.
As well as destroying the Wing Chun Academy, the blaze also threatened the neighbouring Hotel Grand Chancellor.
It took more than 80 firefighters about two hours to contain and forced the evacuation of a number of city buildings as authorities urged hundreds of workers, shoppers and hotel guests to leave the area.
No damage bill has been provided but the cost is likely to run into millions of dollars.
Engineers will make an assessment of whether any of the building can be saved or need to be demolished.
Some businesses in the area remained closed on Wednesday with limited traffic restrictions also in place.
The council said it would work with the owner of the fire-affected building to see what help could be provided to businesses impacted by the blaze.