A mother is assisting police after her three children died in a house fire in Port Hedland in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The bodies of the children, aged 10, seven and five months, were found inside the house by firefighters who responded to the blaze on Anderson Street about 4.45pm on Tuesday.
Acting deputy police commissioner Allan Adams said the children’s mother was with police, and homicide detectives were on their way to Port Hedland.
The fathers of the children have been notified of their deaths.
“The mother is seeking medical attention at the moment as a result of the fire,” Mr Adams said on Wednesday.
“The investigators, when they arrive, will make those determinations as to the next phase of the investigation in respect to the mum.”
Mr Adams said the fire had taken about half an hour to bring under control. Formal identification of the children had not yet taken place.
Forensics detectives and arson squad officers were flying to Port Hedland to assist with the investigation.
The property has been searched but Mr Adams said it was still being established who was present when the fire started.
“This tragedy will have a profound effect in the Port Hedland area,” he said.
“[Particularly for] the family and extended family – but across the state, whenever we see these types of incidents occur, they resonate through every West Australian.
“Local police will be working with support agencies to make sure that all those impacted by this event are cared for during this time.”
Mr Adams urged the local community to let police do their job.
“Undoubtedly grief brings with it significant emotion. I would ask that those family members wrap their arms around each other,” he said.
“This will take time. It won’t be quick but I’m very comfortable that police have got a thorough response in place that will remedy this situation in the shortest possible time frame.”
Premier Mark McGowan said it was a terrible tragedy.
“Three children losing their lives is incredibly sad,” he said.
“Our thoughts go to them but also all those people affected, their family and the first responders who had to deal with the terribly distressing situation in Hedland overnight.”