Father of children killed in shed fire ‘broken hearted’

Community rallies behind family of dead, injured children

The father of two Victorian children killed in a shed fire says the tragedy has left him heartbroken, as their siblings fight for life in hospital.

The four children were playing together in the rear shed of a Corio property near Geelong on Sunday morning when it caught alight.

Saige, 3, and Ashlynn McGregor, 18 months, died at the scene while their older brother and sister, six-year-old Mavis and four-year-old Isaac, were flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition.

The pair suffered life-threatening injuries and have reportedly been placed in induced comas after undergoing surgery.

The children’s father Kane McGregor said it had been the worst 36 hours of his life.

“Absolutely broken hearted having to let go of my two youngest baby’s (sic). [The] only thing keeping me together is holding onto and fighting for my other two,” he wrote in an emotional social media post.

“You are both so strong and way to (sic) stubborn to give in. So keep fighting the winning fight as youse have this far and I’ll lift the world for youse.

“Couldn’t be any prouder of you two. Long road to recovery but [the] only way to go is up. Rip (rest in peace) wiggles and saigey. I love you two so much.”

The children’s aunt and uncle Sarah Guardiano and Anthony McGregor remembered Saige and Ashlynn as boisterous, naughty and loving.

On Tuesday, McGregor read a statement to the Seven Network on behalf of the children’s mother, Jasmine Beck.

“She wants me to tell everyone [Saige and Ashlynn]  were very unique and happy,” McGregor told Sunrise.

“Saige was a little devil. They were very boisterous and had big personalities. They were bubbly and were very loved. They loved each other a lot.”

Guardiano said on Monday that Beck ran into the burning shed and pulled her two eldest children to safety, burning her own hands as she did.

“She did the best she could to get them all out as quickly as she did,” Guardiano said.

McGregor said Beck was destroyed by the loss of her two youngest, and remained at the hospital bedside of her surviving children.

A couch inside the shed, used as a dog bed, caught alight while the children were playing.

Police Inspector Emma Bartel said on Monday, emergency services had arrived at the Corio property to a chaotic scene. The circumstances of how the fire started were unclear, although it is not being treated as suspicious.

“There is a lot that we don’t know at this stage,” she said.

“We have spoken to family and we have spoken to neighbours.

“We are trying to piece together the events of what has taken place.”

Detectives continue to investigate the cause of the tragic blaze.

– with AAP

Topics: victoria
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