Two people are fighting for their lives and a crime scene has been declared after a house fire in Queensland’s north.
- Neighbors raised the alarm after seeing flames coming from the house after 5:30am
- Police had attended the house only hours earlier to respond to mental health concerns
- The injured man and woman were known to each other and to police
A 47-year-old woman and 65-year-old man suffered severe burns in the blaze, which gutted the home in the rural town of Ayr early this morning.
They were flown to a Townsville hospital in a critical condition and are receiving treatment.
Acting Chief Superintendent Chris Lawson said police officers and paramedics had attended the property only hours before the fire to respond to mental health concerns.
“Police received a call in relation to some comments that were made at the residence, so they went and attended and spoke to both residents that were there at the time,” he said.
Neighbors raised the alarm about three hours later just after 5:30am when they spotted flames coming from the house.
“Queensland Police Service and Queensland Ambulance Service responded to two people who were very severely burned, so there’s obviously graphic scenes around that,” Acting Chief Superintendent Lawson said.
A man in his 20s who tried to help was taken to hospital in a stable condition suffering from smoke inhalation.
Couple known to police
Acting Chief Superintendent Lawson said a crime scene had been established and investigations were underway.
“We haven’t established the actual cause of the fire at this point, so until we can actually sign up exactly what’s occurred, then we’re not going to speculate as to how the fire started,” he said.
“We’re in constant contact with Queensland Health in relation to the condition of both parties, so as soon as we’re able to, we’ll speak to both parties.”
Police said the man and woman were in a relationship.
“It’s not the first time the police have had dealings with this couple,” he said.
Queensland Ambulance Service Assistant Commissioner Matthew Green said it was a confronting incident for first responders.
“[It’s] a fairly tragic situation as far as I’m concerned and at the moment we’re just looking after the welfare of our staff that have had to attend that event,” he said.