Neighbours have been left reeling over the death of three people, including a 10-year-old boy, in a house fire in Sydney’s south-west yesterday.
- Six people were inside the Hinchinbrook home when it was engulfed with flames
- Three people have died, including young boy Darren Le
- Neighbours say the family had lived in the area for several years
Authorities suspect the fire broke out in the garage of the Le family’s Hinchinbrook home about 5:30am.
Flames quickly spread to the top floor of the Rottnest Avenue home, where the family was sleeping.
Inside the home were six people including 10-year-old Darren Lee, his parents Minh and Vickie Le, his two grandmothers and a woman who worked as a carer.
It is understood one of the grandmothers, who died at the scene, suffered from dementia.
Paramedics were also unable to save her carer, who sustained critical injuries in the fire.
Sasha, a neighbour who lived in the house behind the family, said she heard “a lot of banging and a lot of commotion from the fire”.
“I heard a few screams and few coughs, it was pretty sad to hear and not do anything about it. It just got out of control too quick.
“We could feel the heat from the backyard of our own house. So it’s pretty sad … you just don’t see this sort of stuff.”
Sasha said she often saw Ms Le and Darren riding bikes in the street.
On Monday, the remains of a charred bicycle lay in the front garden.
Rohit Prakash lives in the adjacent home and was the first into the fire to try and save the trapped residents.
He said Mr Le desperately tried to put out the flames using a garden hose.
“He’s my very good friend…I knew Minh since they moved to the neighbourhood seven or eight years ago,” Mr Prakash said.
A few minutes later the men switched roles as the father braved the blaze to save his family, but the fire had already engulfed the ground floor blocking his path.
“When Minh came out, he was badly burned,” Mr Prakash told the ABC.
Another neighbour said a severely injured Mr Le warned other residents in the street not to go inside.
According to Mr Prakash, firefighters arrived quickly on the scene.
He and his family haven’t been allowed back into their home since the incident.
Firefighters had to take down the Prakash family’s garage ceiling to gain access to the burning house next door.
“They pulled the bodies from the bedrooms, through my garage,” Mr Prakash said.
Paramedics tried to revive Darren on the driveway for several minutes before he was taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where he later died.
An elderly couple two houses down, said they saw Ms Le collapse on the lawn outside her house, screaming for help.
Mr Le is in critical condition at Concord Hospital.
Sixty firefighters responded to the fire, two of which were injured.
The source of the fire is still under investigation.
It is understood that the family home had no working smoke alarm.