INVESTIGATORS say a fire that gutted a house in Benalla on the weekend could have been deliberately lit.
Country Fire Authority investigators inspected the remains of the Ballantine Street brick veneer home yesterday and what they found has led them to believe the fire was started in suspicious circumstances.
A cause had not yet been determined.
The investigation has now been passed to Benalla detectives.
Specialist arson police from Melbourne forensically examining the scene yesterday afternoon.
Acting Detective Sgt Shannon Murphy said the fire started about 2am on Saturday.
He said the family who rented the property were not home at the time.
Neighbours and passers-by phoned triple-0 after they were alerted to the fire.
Paramedics were also called.
Sgt Murphy said two bystanders were treated for smoke inhalation after they said they went into the burning home to see if anyone was inside.