A couple and their 8-year-old child are the sole survivors of a devastating house fire that claimed the lives of ten-year-old Maisra Osman, his three-year-old brother Nadar, and sisters Isan, 6, and Ileen, 1, in Melbourne, Australia.
Neighbours told how the children's parents, Najm and Khadjah Osman, rushed into the street screaming for help.
One local, Geeta Deagan, told reporters that Mr Osman was in a desperate state: “He banged on our door (and said) to my husband, ‘my kids are dead, my kids are dead’,” she said.
Another neighbour told Australian newspaper The Age how Mr Osman tried desperately to save his kids.
“The father was trying to smash the door, smash the windows, everything,' he said.
“He was bleeding all up his arms from trying to get in and was begging me for a jacket so he could get to his kids. He tried every single thing”.
Mrs Deagan added that the kids’ mother was also distraught: “[She] came to me and said, 'they are not going to come back … my four kids died, I'm not a good mum, I'm not a good mum,’" she recalled.
“I just gave her a hug… there was nothing she could do.”
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Over 30 firefighters attended the blaze, but by the time they arrived, it was already clear that there would be fatalities.
Werribee fire department Lieutenant Damien Molloy said that it was clear when they arrive that the mission would be “recovery” rather than rescue.
"With the roof already … compromised and the tiles collapsing, it was unsafe for our members to be able to proceed initially with an internal attack," he said.
investigators are currently trying to determine the cause of the blaze.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ashley Ryan, of Victoria Police, confirmed the deaths of the four children: ”Our hearts go out to the family this morning,” he said, “but it’s also very distressing for members of Victoria police and emergency services."
Locals hand other well-wishers have placed flowers, candles, children's books and toys outside the completely gutted home in a spontaneous tribute to the shattered family.
An online fundraiser organised by family friend Fathi Ahmed has already raised over $272,910 [around £147,000].
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"This unexpected house fire has caused the deaths of four young, bright and beautiful children, who were all so full of life and love, who had the most infectious smiles and radiated such a light that could illuminate the deepest and darkest of places," Fathi wrote.
"It has also left a mother, father and a son, mourning the loss of their family, a 10 year-old and three-year-old boy and a six and one-year-old girl. This has caused a tremendous amount of emotional and psychological distress on the family.
"The family, friends and communities of this beautiful family are also extremely devastated and in complete agony by this sudden and unexplainable tragedy which has left many imploding with unbearable pain."
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