Father burns 5-month-old, 2-year-old and 6-year-old to death by setting the house on fire

A 28-year-old Australian father has been charged with murder and attempted murder after a house fire in Sydney's Lalor Park killed three of his children and injured four others, including their mother.

Livemint
First Published11 Jul 2024, 10:58 AM IST
Devastating aftermath: A Sydney house fire leaves a community grieving after the loss of three children.
Devastating aftermath: A Sydney house fire leaves a community grieving after the loss of three children. (HT_PRINT)

An Australian father has been charged with murder and attempted murder after a devastating house fire in Sydney's west killed three of his children and injured four others, including their mother, as per a report by BBC.

This tragic event unfolded in Lalor Park over the weekend, leaving the community devasted and in disbelief. The house fire, which occurred on Freeman Street at around 1 am on Sunday, resulted in the deaths of two boys, aged six and two, who succumbed to their injuries in the hospital, and a five-month-old baby girl who was found deceased inside the home. 

The children's 29-year-old mother, along with three other boys aged four, seven, and 11, and a nine-year-old girl, were also hospitalised but are now in stable condition.

The 28-year-old man faces three counts of domestic violence murder, five counts of attempted domestic violence murder, and charges related to endangering life through property damage.  

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During a brief hearing at Parramatta local court on Thursday, the man, who remains hospitalised under police guard due to injuries sustained in the blaze, did not appear via video link. The court was informed that the accused had no prior criminal history apart from a tax-related matter. 

The father remains in an induced coma, with the case due back in court on September 6, as per BBC report.

Magistrate Joy Boulos approved an apprehended violence order against him, prohibiting him from coming within 500 meters of his former partner, children, their schools, childcare centres, or places of work. Additionally, he was forbidden from contacting his family outside of legal channels or accessing firearms.

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Eve, a neighbour who witnessed the aftermath, recounted the horrifying events to the BBC. She and her husband were alerted by another neighbour, Jarrod Hawkins, who had been woken by a "loud pop" and saw the flames. Hawkins bravely entered the burning house multiple times, rescuing three children before emergency services arrived. Despite their efforts, the fire claimed the lives of the youngest victims.

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Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty described the incident as "incredibly tragic," revealing that the father was arrested at the scene for allegedly attempting to prevent emergency services from rescuing those trapped inside, as per a report by The Guardian.

As the investigation continues, Australia grapples with the broader issue of domestic violence. The federal government has committed significant funding to prevention and support measures, yet critics argue that more needs to be done to address the crisis comprehensively, as per various media reports.

The case has drawn national attention, highlighting Australia's ongoing struggle with domestic and family violence. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged the pervasive issue, stating, “Again, we have seen lives stolen, futures torn away. Every death is its own universe of devastation.”

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First Published:11 Jul 2024, 10:58 AM IST
HomeNewsWorldFather burns 5-month-old, 2-year-old and 6-year-old to death by setting the house on fire

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