Four children died in a house fire in Melbourne.
Police say the bodies of a 10-year-old boy, three boys, a six-year-old girl and a one-year-old girl were found inside the property at Mantello Drive, Werribee , after a fire broke out shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday.
A man, a woman and an eight-year-old boy managed to escape the blaze.
The man was taken to hospital with serious smoke-related injuries.
The woman is being treated in hospital for smoke inhalation and the boy has been taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Senior Detective Sergeant Ashley Ryan says police are not yet able to say whether the fire is suspicious or not.
“Members of the criminal explosives squad are carrying out this investigation here,” he told reporters at the scene.
Investigators were also at the hospital, he said.
“This is a terrible and very difficult set of circumstances for family members and our hearts go out to the family and the community this morning.”
Sergeant Ryan said the scene was also very distressing for police and emergency services given the circumstances.
He was unable to comment on reports that it took up to 10 minutes to contact the triple zero after the fire broke out.
Fire Lt. Damien Molloy said no determination has been made on how the blaze started.
He said officers faced a daunting task entering the premises after the roof collapsed.
It is understood that the flames had already pierced the roof and were exiting through the front door by the time they arrived.
“There were obviously a lot of people in the street, with a fire of this intensity, people were waking up,” said a spokesman for the brigade.
“It was way beyond anything a neighbor could help without putting themselves in serious danger.”