Screams heard as three die in fire
Ground-shaking explosions, the smell of petrol and screams from a Brisbane home that was engulfed by flames yesterday, killing three people inside, will be investigated by police who are treating the fire as suspicious.
Police are looking at events in the 24 hours before the fire to find out what happened. By the time emergency services arrived in the north Brisbane suburb of Everton Hills shortly after 5.40am, the flames were double the height of the two-storey brick home.
Neighbours told police they could smell petrol and had heard yelling and an explosion about the time the fire started.
Crews extinguished the fire, entered the house and found the bodies of two women and a man.
Brisbane Police Inspector Daniel Bragg said the house was “well alight” by the time police and fire crews arrived.
“We have received advice that a neighbour heard an explosion,” Inspector Bragg said.
“We also spoke to one neighbour who gave authorities advice there was yelling beforehand.”
Police yesterday did not release details of the victims, but said a woman and her adult son were known to live in the home.
Forensic investigators are trying to determine whether the explosion heard by neighbours was the cause or a result of the flames.
Late yesterday police urged the public to come forward with any footage near Pavonia Street around the time of the fire and to report “anything suspicious” in the area between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Inspector Bragg said the damage to the house was “substantial” and neighbouring houses were evacuated as a precaution as the blaze threatened to spread.
“What we are trying to do is put together the pieces of this jigsaw,” he said.
“We need to establish exactly what’s occurred here and what started this fire.
“This is a big tragedy; for three people to die in a house fire is such a terrible thing.
“It might be suspicious, it might be a terrible accident.”