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It was dawn and the city was starting to wake when small flames began to lick up the side of a towering apartment complex in Melbourne’s centre. On a balcony crowded with furniture, books and flattened cardboard boxes, a lit cigarette had been smouldering near some clothing, possibly for hours. Then, with astonishing speed, a blaze began. It would only be later, in the days following, that these residents would begin to comprehend how the fire would throw them into limbo, forcing them to reconsider whether apartment living was for them. The experience has been distressing, making one owner reconsider whether it’s wise to buy apartments in Melbourne. "I actually recommend to my friends not to purchase apartments,” he said. “I think at the moment 'be very careful about the building quality' - not only cladding but all the other qualities. It’s just not good."