Qld car fire: Three children, one man dead

 

SHOCKED witnesses have told of seeing a woman on fire leap out of a burning car screaming "he's poured petrol on me" at the scene of a devastating incident in which three children under the age of 10 and an adult male have died.

A major crime investigation is under way at Raven St in Camp Hill, on Brisbane's southside, with a senior detective reporting it is one of the worst crime scenes he'd attended in his career.

 

 

Witnesses report a car exploding into flames, with screams and calls for help heard as people rushed to help but were unable to get close due to the intensity of the fire.

 

The burnt out car. Picture: Elise Williams.
The burnt out car. Picture: Elise Williams.

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.

"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 woman is in a critical condition in hospital with "significant burns", police said

Emergency Services on the scene at Raven St in Camp Hill. Picture: ABC Brisbane
Emergency Services on the scene at Raven St in Camp Hill. Picture: ABC Brisbane


Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed multiple patients had received severe burns.

Raven St has been blocked by crime tape at both ends, as police swarm around a car wrapped in orange plastic.

Police later extended the crime scene by around 50 metres, as bits of debris have been located further down the street.

Detective Inspector Mark Thompson told media: "At approximately 8.30 this morning, emergency services were called to Raven St in relation to a vehicle that was on fire.

Five people that were involved in the fire inside the vehicle

"I can confirm that we have three deceased children inside the vehicle under the age of 10.

"(One of the) complications that we have ... is to positively identify the victims that we have.

The scene at Raven St in Camp Hill, where three people, including children, have died. Picture: Elise Williams.
The scene at Raven St in Camp Hill, where three people, including children, have died. Picture: Elise Williams.

"We have extensively doorknocked the entire area.

"Anyone who lives in the vicinity of Raven and Pryde streets, if they can contact the Queensland police ... if they heard anything or saw anything."

He 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."

Det Insp Thompson said police were yet to examine the inside of the vehicle, and the cause of the fire was still being determined.

"We still haven't got into that vehicle," he said.

"It's too early to go into that vehicle."

 

The scene at Raven St in Camp Hill, where three people, including children, have died. Picture: Elise Williams.
The scene at Raven St in Camp Hill, where three people, including children, have died. Picture: Elise Williams.

 

Det Insp Thompson would not confirm whether it was being treated as a murder-suicide.

"How the fire actually occurred has not been ascertained at the moment. For us to call it a murder-suicide or an accident is not appropriate at the moment," he said.

Large numbers of emergency services, including paramedics were on the street, as nearby residents watched on.

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.

"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.

Police Minister Mark Ryan informed MPs in Parliament of the incident.

"Today is a very sad day," he said.

"I have just been informed by the Police Commissioner that three people have died, including children, in a horrific incident at Camp Hill this morning.

"All emergency services are on scene.

"The situation is at a very early stage. I am informed that police are investigating all of the circumstances surrounding this tragic set of events."

Terri Butler, the Federal Member for Griffith, which covers Camp Hill, said she was "horrified and devastated by what's happened".

"My condolences to family, friends and the entire community," she said.

It is understood the incident is being treated as a homicide.



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