Firefighters say an armed and violent rapist at the centre of a Melbourne siege has threatened to burn down a house he has been holed up in since last night.
Antonio Loguancio, 40, is refusing to surrender to police who swooped on the home in Justin Avenue in Glenroy, in Melbourne's north, at 7:00pm (AEDT).
Loguancio, nicknamed 'Mad Dog', is one of Victoria's most wanted fugitives.
It has been reported that his criminal record includes six counts of rape, five of intentionally causing injury, four of making threats to kill and 12 of common assault.
He has been on the run for five days since breaking a court-imposed order while on bail for drugs and weapons offences.
He is also wanted for allegedly assaulting his partner last weekend.
Steve Mack from the Metropolitan Fire Brigade says crews are on standby just in case Loguancio follows through on threats to set fire to the house.
"It's a very tense situation down there," he said.
"The police have isolated the population from the actual scene so there's no-one in the houses around.
"They've got all their units around and it's just a wait and see and hopefully he comes out sooner rather than later."
Loguancio is understood to be alone at the property and police say he has not made any demands.
He earlier confirmed to officers that he is armed.
Police say they are trying to keep Loguancio awake and have been communicating with him via telephone.
Detective Inspector Bernie Jackson says members of the police Special Operations Group surrounded the home last night.
"We're happy to go for as long as it takes to ensure that it is a peaceful conclusion," he said.
"We'll continue negotiating with the gentleman and as I said, our aim is to end it peacefully.
"It's more of a public reassurance that we have the suitably trained and experienced members here undertaking that role."
The street is cordoned off and Detective Inspector Jackson says some residents chose to leave the area.
"We were at pains during the night to visit all nearby residents to have a chat and let them knowing what's going on," he said.
"Some chose to stay and some chose to relocate and our whole aim was to reassure them, to end this peacefully and to get the community back into some normality."
Nearby resident Chris Hood says many locals are concerned about the stand-off.
"A lot of elderly people live here and an extremely pretty good atmosphere and when this kind of thing goes on it does shake you a bit," he said.
"Nothing catastrophic's happened yet and let's hope the police... have the situation under control to the best of their ability and you just have to have faith in that."