Toddlers body a heartbreaking end to fatal house fire search

A two-year-old girl has died in a fire that destroyed a house in Capertee, 45 kilometres north-west of Lithgow on Saturday morning.

The fire broke out about 8am on the rural property located along the Castlereagh Highway but has been contained by emergency services.

Fire crews arrived to find the house fully involved, a spokesman for NSW Rural Fire Service said, and the fire had destroyed the house.

Footage showed only water tanks, a fireplace and chimney remained standing.

Police confirmed a 44-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman and two children escaped the blaze, but a third child was trapped inside the house.

On Saturday morning, police said the child was presumed dead, as they believed she was not able to escape.

The childs body was recovered from the remains of the property on Saturday afternoon.

At this stage the cause of the fire is unknown, and police would not confirm whether the fire is being treated as suspicious.

The two adults and two children were treated at the scene and have been taken to Lithgow Hospital.

The family had to run to neighbours for help when the fire broke out because they had no phone reception, a witness said.

"They had to alert the neighbours who had to come to the police station, had no joy there and they came here," said the local man, who did not wish to be named.

"My wife had to make the call [to triple zero]."

By then the home was already engulfed in flames arching three metres out of the windows and the toddler was trapped inside, he said.

"It's absolutely tragic," he said.

"I went up to the house, [the father] was frantic. They were standing there in their underclothes, didn't have time to grab anything else.

"My wife took clothes up for the woman to put on. She was in a state of shock."

Locals have begun to rally by offering clothes and accommodation for the family, who are known in the town, he said.

"They've got nothing."

Investigators will search the house once it has been deemed safe.

On Saturday, the NSW Rural Fire Service had listed fire danger as "very high" in parts of the state, including the Central Ranges and Greater Sydney Region.

This story Toddlers body a heartbreaking end to fatal house fire search first appeared on Lithgow Mercury.


Nyngan Observer


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