Three members of an Indian family are believed to have died after a fire tore through a Melbourne house Friday, with police saying murder-suicide was one avenue of investigation.
Detectives said a family of four from southern India lived at the property and remains had been found, but the damage was so great it would take time to confirm how many people died.
Reports said a mother and her two young boys perished while the father was overseas on business.
"There's a lot of damage done to the premises but there's also a lot of damage done to the deceased as well," said Detective Sergeant Jeff Maher.
"Sometimes you just cannot tell how many are deceased."
He later revealed that a note was found on a car parked in the driveway of the home.
"The note will obviously form a key part (of the investigation)," he said.
"Murder-suicide is one of the possibilities we're looking at at the moment but... we've got to keep an open mind because we're not in possession of all the facts."
Neighbours told reporters they heard hammering, followed by a scream, as flames engulfed the home in the early hours of the morning.
"It's sad taking away little ones and their mother," said neighbour Terry Nooroa, who was awoken by a loud bang and the smell of smoke.