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Fire Rips Through Historic Melbourne RSL

Anzac Day plans at a Melbourne RSL club may have gone up in smoke after fire ripped through the historic club.

MFB firefighters took 52 minutes to get the fire at the Ivanhoe RSL under control, wearing breathing gear to conduct "an aggressive attack" on the flames.

"A cause has not been determined at this early stage and the structure has been severely damaged," the MFB said in a statement on Friday.

The RSL club issued a statement saying they don't know how badly the club is damaged.

"It is with great sadness that I must inform everyone that last night/this morning our historic club house suffered extensive fire damage," the Ivanhoe RSL said on its Facebook page.

"Little is known at this stage as to just how bad the damage is, what caused the fire or how this effects our upcoming AGM, Anzac Day ceremonies and events."

The RSL recently celebrated its 87th anniversary.

A yoga teacher who was running a class in the building when the fire started said they heard a sound and then 10 minutes later smelled smoke.

"(We) couldn't really identify the source of the fire but we just quickly moved," the teacher told the Nine Network.

"(We feel) very lucky and very sad. It has been home to our studio for at least the last six or seven years. And the community here will be gutted."

A community warning has been issued due to intense smoke in the area and Studley Rd has been closed.

Elderly and disabled residents living next to the RSL had to be evacuated as the blaze took hold.

AAP

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