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Goonengerry house fire: Horror triple-0 call after death of twin girls near Byron Bay

Haunting details have been revealed of the triple-0 call made to authorities following a house fire that killed twin four-year-old girls near Byron Bay.

Details have been revealed of the haunting call to emergency services following a house fire that claimed the lives of twin four-year-old girls near Byron Bay on Sunday.

Emergency services were called to a property on Mafeking Road, Goonengerry, about 30km west of Byron Bay, shortly after 4am yesterday following reports two children were suffering from smoke inhalation.

Officers from the Tweed/Byron Police District and NSW Ambulance paramedics attempted to perform CPR on the sisters, who were unable to be revived and died at the scene.

A woman was also treated for shock.

It is understood the twins were spending the weekend with their father at the Nunkeri multi-occupancy commune where his girlfriend lives.

According to The Daily Telegraph, it is believed their father and his partner had been at a bonfire on the commune and returned to the home in the early hours of the morning to find smoke billowing out of the bedroom where the girls were sleeping.

A woman placed a frantic call to emergency services, telling the operator, “Hurry, the babies can’t breathe”, the publication reports, with a source adding she said they thought it may have been an electrical fire.

It is believed the fatal fire may have been started by a candle left on top of a piano in the room where the girls were sleeping.

Police are investigating whether the candle may have caused the piano to smoulder and create plumes of toxic smoke.

A neighbour told The Daily Telegraph that they had heard the girls’ father was “in a bad state”.

“He blames himself. He’s really shaken up,” they claimed.

Police Superintendent Dave Roptell said the piano was in the same room as the two girls and was “fairly close” to where they were sleeping.

“It’s unbelievably devastating (for the community). It’s a tragic set of circumstances,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“The police that turned up and the other emergency services who were there did an exceptional job and did try their best to save those poor young people’s lives.”

Superintendent Roptell wouldn’t confirm who first noticed the smoke and raised the alarm when asked about reports that a party had been going on nearby when the incident occurred.

“There were people present in a close proximity to where the incident occurred,” he said.

“The people at the scene went in to check and saw what they saw and police were called.

“We’re making further inquiries into who actually identified the situation in the first instance.”

Floral tributes have been left at the property, with a note on one of the bouquets left in the mailbox of the home reading, “No words … mourning with you”.

The 20-home commune is situated on 100 acres of farmland and was established in the Byron Bay hinterland more than 30 years ago.

Investigations into the tragic incident are continuing, with detectives from the Tweed/Byron PD working with fire investigators.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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