‘Screams and cries for help’: Witnesses tell of traumatic scenes

TRAUMATISED witnesses and emergency service members are reeling after a horrific car fire on Brisbane's southside in which three children under the age of 10 and an adult male have died, with senior cops saying it's one of the worst crime scenes they've seen.

One local told of the horrifying scene as the woman leapt screaming from the car, shouting "he's poured petrol on me". She is now in hospital in a critical condition.

The man and woman have been named as Rowan and Hannah Baxter. The Courier-Mail can reveal Rowan is a former NZ Warriors player and worked as a fitness Brisbane coach.

The incident, which has left a man who came to Hannah's aid in hospital suffering burns, occurred on Raven Street in Camp Hill about 8.30am.

 

Murray Campbell, a local, talks to media. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Murray Campbell, a local, talks to media. Picture: Steve Pohlner

 

Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said it was among the worst crime scenes he'd attended in his career.

"It's a horrific scene," he said.

"It will be a horrific thing for police and emergency services to deal with in the coming days.

 

 

"We've all got different experiences in life. I've seen some horrific scenes, this is up there with the (worst) of them.

"It's a terrible thing to be presented with but we will work through it."

One resident told The Courier-Mail he could hear screams from his nearby home around 8:15am before he ran to the scene.

"I had people working at my house and we could hear screams and calls for help," the man, lives in the street behind the incident said.

"The flames were huge, absolutely insane. We had to stand back because the fire fighters were rushing in.

"I'm so sad, so very, very sad to hear it's kids. I just wonder who they are and why they were there. It's a very emotional time for our neighbourhood."

The man said he had only lived in the area for three months, and said his neighbourhood was quiet and full of families.

A neighbour a couple of houses away from the incident said she heard the explosion.

Police at the scene on Raven St in Camp Hill. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Police at the scene on Raven St in Camp Hill. Picture: Steve Pohlner

"I was lying in bed and I heard a loud bang, the house sort of vibrated like something hit my roof," she said.

"Flames were so high in the air, it was absolutely unbelievable, I've never seen anything like this."

She said she was sick when she left her house to see what was going on.

"Then there was this smell, I can't quite explain it, but it was terrible and it lingered around," she said.

Murray Campbell, who lives on the street where the incident occurred said he heard it before racing out to see what had happened.

"Lots of neighbours came out and there were lots of people on the street," he said.

"I saw multiple explosions, they were very loud like a gas cylinder exploding."

One man who lives about 20 metres from where the car ended up told The Australian he had spoken to other witnesses who saw the incident unfold.

 

The car fire on Raven Street, Camp Hill. Picture: ABC
The car fire on Raven Street, Camp Hill. Picture: ABC

 

"According to them this vehicle that's obviously burnt pulled up beside them and the lady yelled out, 'he's poured petrol on me'," he said, choking back tears.

"Next minute, about four other explosions. Apparently there's some young kids in the car.

"By that time you couldn't get near the vehicle, unless you had a proper suit on, you were just no hope.

"Some young trade blokes down the road (said) they came and out (with) some timber or something to stop the vehicle going further because it actually rolled across the road from here to there.

"The young lady was rolling on the footpath on flames."

The incident is being treated as a homicide.



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