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The aunt of the four children who died in a house fire said the family is “destroyed” by the devastating accident.
Masira Osman, 10, her brother Nadar, 3, and her sisters Isan, 6, and Ileen, 1, died after her Melbourne home caught fire shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday.
Neighbors said they were awakened by hearing the children’s father, Najm, yell ‘save my children’ as emergency services struggled to contain the fire.
Her sister said that the death of her nephews and nephews “has broken my heart.”
Four children have died after a fire ripped through a Werribee property during the early hours of Sunday morning
I am shattered right now. We don’t know what happened, ” he told the Herald Sun.
‘We are Muslims and we believe in God. We know that everything is written. But this is too difficult to accept. ‘
Emergency services were called to the fire on the Mantello Drive property, in the southwest of the city, shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday.
Najm Osman, 45, his wife Khadjah, 38, and his eight-year-old son Ibrahim managed to escape the fire and were rushed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The family emigrated from Sudan in the early 2000s and became important members of the local community.
Devastated neighbors described the heartbreaking scenes in which parents asked for help.
Smoke billowed into the air as around 30 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control
Next-door neighbor Geeta Deagan, who has lived in the area for six years, said Osman knocked on her door last night after her house caught fire.
‘She knocked on our door … [and said] to my husband, “my children are dead, my children are dead,” she said.
She said the mother later began to accept the unfolding tragedy.
‘[She] came to me and said, “They are not coming back … my four children died, I am not a good mother, I am not a good mother,” Ms. Deagan said.
“I just gave her a hug … there was nothing she could do.”
Mourners placed flowers on the fence of the destroyed house on Sunday with several extremely emotional and hugging.
One neighbour started crying recalling seeing the parents in distress as their children died in a house fire in Melbourne’s south-west
Victoria Police confirmed the four deaths at a press conference.
“Unfortunately, a 10-year-old boy, a three-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl were found dead inside the facility,” Detective Sgt. Ashley Ryan said Sunday.
“It is a terrible and very difficult set of circumstances for family members and our hearts go out to the family and the community this morning.”
The father sustained serious smoke-related injuries while the mother received smoke inhalation treatment. The boy had minor injuries.
A firefighter was also taken to the hospital to be evaluated for smoke inhalation, but he appears to be fine.
The house was completely destroyed by hell, and rescue efforts were hampered after the roof collapsed during the fire.
The house has been completely destroyed after the roof collapsed during the blaze
Security footage from a nearby home shows neighbors running into the street to help as smoke rose into the air.
Neighbors said there were phone delays in reaching emergency services and waited 15 minutes before a 000 operator responded.
“I thought the sun was up, so bright,” a neighbor told 9News.
“When I went in to take a good look, the whole house was on fire.”
About 30 firefighters were called to the home to control the fire.
CFA District 14 commander David Clancy said the house was already fully lit when emergency crews arrived on the scene.
“The firefighters had a pretty tough job to carry out the shooting … they were unable to carry out an internal attack due to the heat of the fire,” he said.
Mr. Clancy said the fire was finally brought under control around 2 a.m., and the damage made it unsafe for firefighters to enter the home.
“It certainly lives up to some of the tragedies that I have seen … this particular one is a very tragic circumstance with four young children who died in the fire,” he said.
Masira Osman Quick and Facts
- Four children under the age of 10 tragically died in house fire in Melbourne
- Inferno broke out at home in Werribee just after 1am on Sunday morning
- Neighbours said they heard parents screaming for help as house caught fire
- Sister of father said the deaths of her nieces and nephews ‘broke my heart’
- Arson detectives have launched an investigation into fire and are at the scene