Fresh probe into Macquarie Fields house fire that killed teen Tahma Teara-Jones
Police have launched a fresh appeal for information into a house fire which killed a teenage boy.
Emergency services were called to a home in Macquarie Fields, in Sydney’s southwest, in the early hours of June 30 after smoke was seen billowing from a two-storey brick home.
The blaze was so ferocious that fire crews couldn’t get inside as flames rippled through the home.
Firefighters battled the blaze externally but by the time they could get inside to search the property, it was too late.
The occupants, a woman and her five children, were able to escape but the body of 14-year-old Tahma Teara-Jones, who was visiting the home, was found in an upstairs bedroom.
Detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad’s Arson Unit are working under Strike Force Tedsa to investigate the suspicious blaze and are now re-appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
“While we have already spoken with dozens of residents and other witnesses, investigators believe there are still people – particularly local children who knew Tahma – who have an idea of how this fire may have started,” Arson Unit Coordinator Detective Chief Inspector Richard Puffett.
“These are incredibly tragic circumstances that cost a 14-year-old boy his life, and Tahma’s family deserve answers.
“As our inquiries continue, we are urging anyone who has information that may assist us, including anyone who may have been driving through the area at the time and noticed suspicious activity, to come forward.”
Speaking to reporters at the time, NSW Police Campbelltown City Commander Superintendent Julian Griffiths said any potential links to an alleged brawl outside the house on the night of the fire would be investigated, but no charges had been laid.
“It’s a tragic event and we are treating this investigation with an open mind,” he said.
Flames consumed the home, sending thick smoke into the air and forcing people in neighbouring properties to flee.
FRNSW deputy commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell described the inferno as “very intense”.
He said two-metre flames were coming out of all the windows.
“They (fire crews) were made aware of reports of a missing person in the building. And yet despite their best efforts they just couldn’t enter the building due to the intensity of the fire at that time,” deputy commissioner Fewtrell said.
Earlier, a fundraiser was established to raise funds for Teara-Jones’s funeral.
“His death has left an impact on the whole community,” campaign creator Tristan Dunphy said.
“Fly high, taken too soon.”
A second fundraiser was also established to help the single mother and owner of the property that went up in flames.
“Overnight, the house of one of our friends – a single mum – has burned down. This beautiful family of seven has only recently been housed after being homeless for quite a long period, they have now lost everything,” organiser Paul Mackin wrote.
“We are putting a callout for our wonderful supporters to please help with donations. Let’s all dig deep and try to get this family back on track.”
Originally published as Fresh probe into Macquarie Fields house fire that killed teen Tahma Teara-Jones
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