Updated

Man allegedly 'locked doors' after setting fire that claimed three lives

Carla Mascarenhas
Updated July 11 2024 - 1:48pm, first published 9:53am

A father who has been charged with murdering three of his children has been refused bail.

About 1am on July 7 emergency services attended a home in Lalor Park in Sydney's west following reports of a house fire.

Three children, two boys and a baby girl, were subsequently declared deceased.

A 28-year-old man remains at Westmead Hospital, under police guard, but appeared in court in a bedside hearing where bail was formally refused.

He has been charged with three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and destroying property with intent to endanger life.

Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty said on July 11 the man had emerged from a coma and was "communicating with police".

Police at the site of the fatal house fire at Lalor Park in Sydney's west. Picture by AAP Image/Thomas Parrish
Police at the site of the fatal house fire at Lalor Park in Sydney's west. Picture by AAP Image/Thomas Parrish

Supt. Doherty said the man allegedly "lit fires" in numerous room and locked doors after using an "accelerant possibly petrol" which prevented five children and the mother of the children to escape.

He said a neighbour "courageously" managed to "force entry" and was able to save two of the children, a four-year-old and seven-year-old, and then went in and saved a nine-year-old girl and the mother.

Two boys aged three and six, and a 10-month-old girl died as a result.

Support is available for those who may be distressed. Phone Lifeline 13 11 14; Men’s Referral Service 1300 776 491; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; beyondblue 1300 224 636; 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732; National Elder Abuse 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374)

Supt Doherty said the neighbour attempted to save an 11-year-old boy but was allegedly prevented by the father who was holding him.

When police arrived they wrestled with the man and were able to rescue the boy.

Police have described the incident as one of the worst cases of filicide in NSW.

The fire claimed three lives. Picture by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS
The fire claimed three lives. Picture by Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS

Support is available for those who may be distressed:

  • Phone Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Men's Referral Service 1300 776 491
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
  • beyondblue 1300 224 636
  • 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732
Carla Mascarenhas

Carla Mascarenhas is the NSW correspondent covering breaking news, state politics and investigations. She is based in Sydney. Contact her on carla.mascarenhas@austcommunitymedia.com.au