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What do I need to know?

  • the address or location of the fire, or
  • the name of the company or
  • the person/s who owned the property.

The depictions in some photographs in these records can be upsetting for some researchers.  Private spaces are available in our reading room for people who wish to view inquest records in private.

How do I search?

Search by keywords and then filter by date on the search results page

About these records

Fire inquest files are the records created during inquests conducted by the Coroner’s Court into the cause and origin of fires. Each investigation relates solely to the cause and origin of a fire and not into any deaths caused by a fire.

The records in this series cover the period 1858 to 1940. However, if the investigation led to criminal charges of arson, the records will be contained in criminal trial briefs.

Records from fire inquests that occurred between 1940-1959, can be found in inquest records.For records from 1959- 1985, see autopsy and investigation records.

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What are in these records?

The content of the records varies over time.

Each file may contain:

  • names of property owners, accused persons, Coroner and jury members
  • depositions of witnesses called
  • police reports
  • exhibits
  • documents relating to the payment of a fee that was required for an inquest to be conducted.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples