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Tragic House Fire at Glenfield

Published: 23rd January 2006

Shortly before 3am on Sunday 22 January 2006, the NSW Fire Brigades received Triple Zero calls reporting a house on fire in Glenfield. Crews from Macquarie Fields, Liverpool and Ingleburn were immediately responded. As they were en route information was received from Triple Zero callers that a severely burnt person was in the street and other occupants were trapped inside the burning house.

The Macquarie Fields crew was on the scene in seven minutes to confirm a fibro cottage fully involved in fire and a severely burnt man in the street outside. As firefighters put on air cylinders to undertake a search and rescue operation, an urgent message for the assistance of ambulance and police was transmitted. The attendance of the electricity authority was also sought as powerlines had fallen presenting an electrocution risk.

Acting on reports that children were trapped in the rear of the house fire crews started search and rescue. At the same time other firefighters gave first aid treatment to the injured man. Moments later firefighters emerged from the burning house with an unconscious child. They able to revive the very small child using CPR techniques before placing it in the care of ambulance officers who continued the first aid treatment for both the man and child before taking them to hospital.

With other occupants still not accounted for, the search and rescue operation continued until conditions within the house prevented firefighters from advancing further. As the search and rescue operation progressed an attack on the fire was started to protect the rescuers and extinguish the blaze. Once the fire was sufficiently subdued, crews were able to determine that another adult occupant of the house had perished in the fire.

It was later revealed that, despite the very best efforts of the firefighters and ambulance officers, the young child died in hospital. Due to the tragic circumstances associated with the incident the NSW Fire Brigades’ Chaplains attended to offer support for the firefighters, family members, other emergency services personnel and community members affected by this distressing event.

Officers from the NSW Fire Brigades’ Fire Investigation and Research Unit are working in cooperation with the Police.