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A fire has caused serious damage to Old Parliament House in Canberra as indigenous protesters clashed with police outside.
Huge plumes of smoke billowed into the air as firefighters rushed to save the historic building from being gutted by the flames.
Protestors holding Aboriginal flags screamed and jeered as the laze engulfed the entrance, yelling ‘let it burn’.
The cause of the blaze, including whether it was deliberately lit, is not yet known.
There is a fire at Old Parliament House in Canberra and people are being evacuated
The unruly crowd had to be held back from Old Parliament House by a line of police before the altercation became a full-blown brawl.
The protesters also scuffled with media who arrived to film the burning building and scrapped with police trying to contain the demonstration.
Adrian Richardson, a chef visiting from Melbourne, witnessed the blaze.
‘There’s a lot of police, there’s a lot of police with flags all waving and screaming, a lot of fire trucks,’ he told 3AW radio.
‘I saw the balcony above the front steps bursting into flames.’
Video on social media showed fire and plumes of smoke billowing out of the building.
Old Parliament House in Canberra (pictured) was on fire on Thursday, December 30
More to come.