Three children and a man have been torched to death while a woman is fighting for life after a horrific car fire on a quiet Brisbane street.
Police, firefighters and paramedics swarmed Raven St, in Camp Hill, in the city’s south-east, after a white SUV with five people inside burst into flames at 8.20am.
A resident, who lives just 20m away, told The Australian a woman was heard shrieking ‘he’s poured petrol on me” from her car window.
The children were all aged under 10, police confirmed. Desperate neighbours said they hosed down a woman, dressed in activewear, who suffered horrific burns.
Three children and a man died when this Kia Sportage went up in flames in Camp Hill, in Brisbane’s south east, about 8.20am. A woman suffered critical injuries
Residents rushed to help as thick smoke filled the street, but the vehicle was completely alight, and there was little they could do to help the people inside
The blaze occurred in Camp Hill, described as an upmarket, family-oriented suburb in Brisbane’s east
Neighbours said they heard a sound similar to a ‘gas bottle explosion’ and at least four blasts followed.
‘By that time you couldn’t get near the vehicle, unless you had a proper suit on, you were just no hope,’ the resident told The Australian.
A second neighbour told Daily Mail Australia he watched as the injured woman was hosed down on a neighbour’s lawn. ‘She was in a bad way,’ he said.
The neighbour said he had spoken to a man who had tried to rescue the children: ‘He’s in tears. “Babies in the car,” that’s what he said.
The resident it was wasn’t clear whether that meant infants, toddlers or older children.
Young tradesmen at a building site down the road reportedly rushed to the scene with timber to stop the car – which was rolling across the road.
HOW DEADLY CAR BLAZE UNFOLDED
Wendy Antoniou, who lives several houses up, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I thought something had landed on my roof, it was like BANG – I could feel the vibration.’
‘I came around the side window – well, I nearly bloody died. The fire brigade was everywhere, ambulance was everywhere.
‘All I could see was the smoke. I didn’t know whether it was a house on fire or what. Apparently, this car exploded.
‘First of all I couldn’t even see the flames – then I could see all these flames high in the air!’
Another resident said he thought he heard the sound of a smoke detector going off. but became increasingly concerned as the moments ticked by.
‘I thought it was maybe a grinder or something … then (after three or four minutes) I saw the smoke coming up and people started to make sounds.’
He described the scene of the woman being hosed down by a neighbour as ‘pretty confronting for everyone involved, extremely confronting for the residents’.
The local fire brigade is less than a kilometre away from the disaster site and the resident said firefighters were at the blaze almost immediately.
Neighbours said all they could see was thick, black smoke – followed by flames reaching into the air
The street has been blocked off with police tape at both ends
Another resident said they heard screams and ran to help.
‘I had people working at my house and we could hear screams and calls for help,’ he told The Courier-Mail.
‘The flames were huge, absolutely insane.
‘We had to stand back because the fire fighters were rushing in.’
Neighbour Murray Campbell said he heard a number of loud bangs.
‘It sounded very much like a gas cylinder explosion,’ he told the Australian Associated Press.
He said he called 000, and did not see anyone escape from the car.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan described the incident as ‘horrific’ in a statement to Parliament.
Police will provide updates throughout the day.
For 24/7 confidential support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14
Emergency crews were called to Raven St in Camp Hill, Brisbane, at 8.20am on Wednesday