A fatal shed fire has claimed the life of a 3-year-old, while another child aged 4 has been hospitalized with serious burn injuries.
An adult has also sustained injuries in the tragedy that unfolded in Launceston, a suburb in the south of Australia’s mainland, just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday).
State police said the arriving emergency services found the shed of the house fully encompassed in flames. Police confirmed the deaths resulting from the horrid incident, 9News reported.
“Tragically police can confirm a young child has died in a shed fire at Mowbray this afternoon. Police and emergency services were called to the fire on Verdun Street shortly after 1:30pm. The shed was fully alight when police and Tasmania Fire Service crews arrived minutes later,” Tasmania Police said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“A toddler was found deceased, and another young child was taken to hospital with serious injuries. An adult was also taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” police added.
The statement continued, “TFS fire investigators will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the fire and police will prepare a report for the Coroner. Our thoughts and condolences are with everyone affected.”
The children were present in the shed, and other people were inside the house when the fire started. Police said the adult was a woman, and the two children were not related but knew each other. The deceased toddler was related to the woman, police inspector Nathan Johnston said, according to PerthNow.
Johnston did not divulge other details surrounding the incident. “Due to the nature of this investigation … we can’t really elaborate at this point in time about what has actually occurred,” he told reporters, as per the outlet.
“It’s a tragic set of circumstances. We don’t know the full story at this point,” he added, noting that the family is distraught.
The state’s fire service has initiated an investigation into what started the fire, and the police will prepare a report for the coroner.
In another recent incident, a kitchen fire resulted in the deaths of a man with a disability and his daughter who had autism in their New York apartment on Thanksgiving morning. Two other family members were hospitalized in critical condition, authorities reportedly said.