Four children have died in a fire that tore through a home in Melbourne’s south-west, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Police on Sunday confirmed a 10-year-old and three-year-old boy, and a six-year-old and one-year-old girl had died in the fire, which started at a house in Mantello Drive in Werribee at about 1am.
It took about 40 firefighters to get control of the fire and crews described feeling “helpless” as they arrived at the scene, with Country Fire Authority official Damien Molloy telling reporters that by the time help arrived the blaze was “very well alight”.
“Fire had already broken through the roof and was already coming out the front door,” he said.
“[It was] likely to be a recovery situation from the outset.”
Police said that the home was occupied by a family, and that the parents and another eight-year-old boy had managed to escape the fire. They were in hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Detective senior sergeant Ashley Ryan told reporters that officers from the arson and explosives squad were conducting investigations at the scene, but would not comment further.
“It’s very early stages at the moment,” he said.
“It’s a terrible set of circumstances, very difficult for members of the family, and our hearts go out to them.”