NSW firies urge caution after horror week
With more people at home due to COVID-19 restrictions as winter approaches, Fire and Rescue NSW is urging residents to remain vigilant amid a spike in house fires.
The warning comes after the state recorded more than 100 fires in one week, including 13 on Thursday alone.
The blazes resulted in the deaths of twin girls in Batlow, nine other injuries and many damaged homes.
FRNSW Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell says the service is "very concerned" with the large number of fires across NSW this week.
"We urge people to stay safe and be aware of any risk of fire while they are at home," he said in a statement on Friday.
"As the global pandemic has hit leading up to winter, it means more people will be at home for longer periods, and that, unfortunately, increases the risk of fire."
Firefighters pulled three-year-olds Aisha and Lailani Dubois from a burning house in Batlow in the state's Snowy Mountains on Monday, but they died at the scene.
Their mother, Tanyka Ford, and six-year-old brother were outside the home when the blaze broke out.
Superintendent Bob Noble on Thursday described the incident as a tragic accident.
"I'm as comfortable as I can be that it's been a tragic accident ... that in many other instances probably wouldn't have resulted in such catastrophic outcomes," he told reporters in Wagga Wagga.
"But when things go really bad, this is as bad as they can get."
He said the blaze may have started the home after the girls accessed the home fire.
FRNSW says residents should regularly maintain smoke alarms and practise their fire escape plan.
They shouldn't leave food unattended while cooking or overload power points and power boards.
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