Australia

Cop lashes online speculation around fire

People speculating on social media about the circumstances around the NSW house fire that killed two girls this week have been urged to try and “walk in the shoes” of the family involved.Twin girls Aisha and Lailani Ford, 3, were killed in the house fire in Batlow after reportedly dead-bolting their mother outside as she…

People speculating on social media about the circumstances around the NSW house fire that killed two girls this week have been urged to try and “walk in the shoes” of the family involved.

Twin girls Aisha and Lailani Ford, 3, were killed in the house fire in Batlow after reportedly dead-bolting their mother outside as she disposed of a burning pillow.

After news of the tragedy broke there was online speculation about what the twins’ mother was doing at the time of the incident and the circumstances leading up to the fire.

Superintendent Bob Noble from the Riverina Police District urged people involved in the online chatter to heed his advice and rethink what they are saying about the tragedy.

“Well, I have got advice for them, but they are not taking advice. Those kind of people they like to hear their own opinions,” he said at a press conference this afternoon.

“Just imagine if you were the mum suffering this bereavement. Whether she was doing things that these other people think she shouldn’t have been doing, she is bashing herself up anyway.

“She probably will second guess herself for the rest of her life. Try imagining walking in her shoes and see if you still think the same thing.

“Some will and that is their prerogative. It doesn’t make them right.”

Superintendent Noble said speculation around this tragedy is “unhelpful”

The girls had been playing with the pillow next to a wood burner in the front room of the family’s home before the smell of smoke caught the attention of their mother Tanyka Ford, The Daily Telegraph reported.

When Ms Ford took the burning pillow outside the twins reportedly playfully locked her outside, leaving her unable to get back into the home when it went up in flames.

Emergency crews were called to the home on Mayday Rd at about 11am on Monday.

Crews had to force entry into the home through the dead bolted door, and found Aisha and Lailani huddled together holding hands and unresponsive.

Despite efforts from first responders the twins died at the scene.

Superintendent Noble said there was “no doubt” the twin’s mum was home at the time of the fire, along with their five-year-old brother who was also outside the house when the blaze started.

“There was a fire on at the dwelling as there would be on a cold morning in that part of the world. It appears the two young children may have accessed that fire,” he said.

“Now, people want to enter into all sorts of narrative or discussion or opinion as to what that might have meant, but the fact of the matter is kids are inquisitive, especially young children at that age and you have got parents that are very vigilant, but you don’t have eyes in the back of your head as well.

“It is seemingly something that just happened as a cascading series of events that led to a catastrophic outcome.”

Superintendent Noble said at this stage of the investigation there appears to be “no foul play” in the deaths of the girls.

“Whilst we will keep an open mind, and our views may change, depending on what evidence comes to light, I would just like to pour some cold water on that speculation to say I am as happy as I can be that this is probably just a tragic case of misadventure,” he said.

Ms Ford wrote on Facebook that she was “gutted and hate myself for not being able to help more”.

“I don’t know how I will ever be able to comprehend how this could have happened please let this be a terrible mistake please tell me my babies okay.”

“Sadly as much as I pray nothing I say or do can bring back my babies.”

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