A mom found dead after a house fire in Melbourne, Australia was stabbed in the stomach before she died.
Pharmacist Hayley Tomkins had stab wounds when she was discovered inside her burning home in Mooroolbark, Australia at about 9 p.m. on Monday.
Her eight-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son are fighting for life after being found unconscious inside the home, suffering from smoke inhalation. They are in stable condition in intensive care.
Their dad came home from tennis lessons to find the home ablaze, 9 News reported.
A neighbor earlier recalled the heartbreaking moment the father screamed in desperation as he watched his house go up in flames with his family trapped inside.
Emergency services were called to a home on Maralee Drive after reports of a raging blaze inside the property.
Fire crews pulled Ms. Tomkins and her two children from the burning home before bringing the blaze under control. The mother died at the scene.
No one else is believed to have been home at the time of the fire.
Alisha O’Brien, a temporary resident living on the street, said she witnessed the father screaming outside the burning home as the flames took hold.
“They carried out three bodies and they were completely lifeless,” she told the Herald Sun.
“When he saw them, he was screaming: ‘Oh no!’
He could not be consoled in any way, he was a complete mess, in total shock and grief.”
Another neighbor also reported seeing the father running towards the home.
He reportedly teared up as he recalled watching smoke rise from the burning house, telling 9 News that he has watched the two children grow up on the quiet street.
He said the father was frequently at the property.
The circumstances leading up to the deadly incident are still being determined, however police are not looking for anyone else at this time.
The house remained cordoned off on Tuesday morning as authorities continued their investigation.
While the home was gutted by the blaze, the exterior structure of the property showed minimal signs of damage.
O’Brien said fire crews faced heavy flames as they entered the property.
“The flames were as high as a telegraph pole,” she said.
“There was a lot of smoke, it looked like the house was going to burn down.”