FIVE children and their father were killed in a house fire that destroyed their home near Brisbane.
Australian Police said the boys were aged between 3 and 11 and their 28-year-old mother reportedly escaped the fire.
Queensland Police Commissioner Matthew Kelly said the fire destroyed several homes on Russel Island in south-east Brisbane this morning.
“The house burned to the ground,” Kelly told reporters.
“These little boys, who could have been men in the future, and a man, lost their lives.”
“We’re still talking to this poor woman who lost her entire family.”
Witnesses saw heavy plumes of smoke billow into the sky around 6:20 a.m. local time as the house burst into flames. 9News reported.
Police confirmed six bodies were found, including that of the 34-year-old father.
Neighbor Angela Dawson told local media the young mother tried to run into the burning house but her husband stopped her and ran inside instead.
“He told her not to go back inside… So she warned the neighbors by yelling. They call her their hero now, she saved them,” Dawson said.
She described the father as a “super dad” and a “hero” for running into the flames to try to save his children.
“He was just a loving father who couldn’t wait to come home to play with the kids,” she added.
“The whole community is devastated, completely shaken.”
Superintendent Kelly said the cause of the fire is still under investigation but “we do not consider it suspicious at this time”.