— With AAP.
1. “Our little angels are resting in peace.” Three children have died in a NSW house fire.
A country NSW community is in mourning after twin sisters and their brother were engulfed by an inferno that ripped through their family home, as “heroic” neighbours desperately battled the flames with garden hoses.
Fire investigators are looking for answers in the ashes as locals pledge tens of thousands of dollars for the children’s mother and sister who narrowly escaped the blaze.
Crews broke through windows to rescue the five-year-old twins Matylda and Scarlett from their smoke-filled bedrooms seconds before the flames reached them in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The twins were rushed to Singleton Hospital but died soon after.
Their older brother Blake, 11, was found dead in the burned out shell of the home.
First responders managed to rescue 31-year-old mother Kara Atkins and her eight-year-old daughter Bayley.
Atkins suffered burns to her back and forehead and Bayley was treated for smoke inhalation. Both are in a stable condition at John Hunter Hospital.
NSW Police Superintendent Chad Gillies lauded the actions of neighbours who rushed to help.
"I would like to emphasise the heroic nature of the four residents in the nearby vicinity who tried to assist the people inside the house and importantly got the mother and eight-year-old out," he said.
Early investigations suggest the fire started at the front of the house before spreading to the back of the home.
Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Joshua Turner confirmed there was a fireplace inside the property, but it was too early what happened.