Woman Found Dead Under Tree Outside Burnt-Out House

A woman believed to be in her 50s is dead and a home has been destroyed by fire after an incident in Melbourne on Friday.

Victoria Police said they were called to a property on Keats Street in the suburb of Officer, about 45 kilometres southwest of the Melbourne CBD, on Friday morning, following reports of a house fire and an injured woman.

10 News First understands a teacher and class from a nearby special needs school was cycling past the area at the time of the fire, and that the teacher ran into the building to pull the woman from the flames.

Sadly, the woman -- yet to be formally identified, but believed to be aged in her 50s -- died at the scene, having sustained stab and burn injuries.

It is not known if the students witnessed the incident.

Photos from the area show a white material covering a body under a tree, not far from the two-storey home which was partially destroyed by fire -- with extensive damage to the roof and front of the building.

Police have not yet confirmed how she died, or details around the fire damage to the building.

The man initially assisting police with their enquiries, for matters not directly related to the death of the woman, has now been released without charge.

Police soon arrested a man, who they said was assisting with enquiries. A man could be seen sitting on the ground, in handcuffs and surrounded by police, outside the home in the aftermath of the blaze.

It is believed the man and woman are known to each other, officers said. The man was later released without charge, and police said he had been assisting with "matters not directly related to the death of the woman".

The suburb of Officer, about 45 km southeast of Melbourne. Photo: Google Maps

"Homicide Squad detectives are heading to the scene," Victoria Police said.

Firefighters were on scene to extinguish the fire.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at