Kingaroy fire: Courage amid tragedy as boy rescued from burning house


March 25, 2018 16:44:38

Queensland police are commending the courage of Kingaroy residents who saved a boy from a house fire that claimed the lives of three people in the South Burnett town on Saturday afternoon.

The four-year-old who was rescued by passers-by was released into the care of family members last night.

Key points:

  • Passing motorist bashed through window with chair to rescue boy from fire
  • Mother arrived home to find her home engulfed in flames
  • Investigations still underway into how fire started

The mother who lived at the property returned from the shops to find her home engulfed in flames.

She remains under observation in hospital suffering shock.

Kingaroy police said they would prepare a report for the coroner.

“We’re treating the matter as suspicious, not because we believe it is, but that’s just the way we deal with things,” Senior Sergeant David Tierney said.

“The house was well and truly alight — there was little that emergency services could do to save the three people that were trapped in the house.”

Passing motorist’s actions heroic: police

Police say the actions of at least three “good Samaritans” saved the young boy.

People living nearby the home noticed smoke billowing from underneath the eaves of the Kingaroy Street house, while the other side was fully engulfed in flames.

Police said a passing motorist used a chair to break a window and pluck one of the children inside to safety.

The young boy had suffered serious burns to his airway and would likely have died if not for the motorist’s actions.

“They knocked on a couple of windows, and rather than just leaving it at that, that’s when the young boy popped up,” Senior Sergeant Tierney said.

“It was just heroic. I think that’s a word you can use in these circumstances.”

The boy was taken to Kingaroy Hospital in a serious condition, before being released Saturday evening.

Police said the bodies of a 47-year-old man, a two-year-old child and an 11-month-old baby were found in the same area of the home.

Specialist teams from Brisbane were able to access the scene Sunday morning and are expected to remain at the site for a number of days.

“The house is totally devastated inside which makes our investigation a lot harder,” Senior Sergeant Tierney said.

Kingaroy police Sergeant Ron Reynolds said on Saturday night there was no obvious indication of how the fire started.

Police have appealed for more witnesses and for those who may have taken photos and videos for social media to come forward to assist with investigations.

“If anybody’s got photos, any video, if they download the police link app they’ll be able to upload them onto the system and we’ll be able to go from there,” Senior Sergeant Tierney said.

Police have requested the public be mindful of the family’s privacy.

“There’s a few people wanting to contact the family, just give them their privacy,” Senior Sergeant Tierney said.

Police urged the public to respond through proper channels in time.

Community is reeling: Frecklington

State Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington expressed her sympathy for everyone involved.

“My heartfelt thanks and thoughts go out to not only the emergency services, the police officers involved, but also the passers-by who saved lives and really has assisted that family. It is completely tragic,” she said.

“But most of all I’d like to thank and congratulate those honourable, courageous people … who stopped and saved the life of that precious little boy. They are real heroes.”

She said the community would take some time to recover.

“This is a tragic circumstance for Kingaroy and the community is reeling from it, and I know that for many years to come it will be unfortunately a very sad day for Kingaroy to remember.”

Jacinda Osborn, who lives around the corner from the home, said told the ABC yesterday she had seen smoke billowing from the property.

“Big black smoke [was] coming over the rooftops, and then when I came out properly you could see the flames flickering through all the smoke,” Ms Osborn said.

“It was quite loud because we are so close.”









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