Hinchinbrook house fire: First responders who tried to save Le family go on leave over horror scene
First responders who desperately tried to save a family from a horror house fire are given extended periods of time away from work to recover from witnessing the devastating scene.
Little Darren Le, 10, died at Westmead Children’s Hospital after being dragged from his burning home in Sydney’s western suburb of Hinchinbrook on Sunday morning.
The fire also claimed the lives of two women in their 40s and 60s, but Darren’s mother, nail salon owner Vickie Le, was one of three who made it out alive.
Sources told Daily Mail Australia that emergency personnel who were on the scene will be given extended leave after many were shocked by the confrontational scenes.
Guidance was also provided to the heroic men and women who desperately tried to resuscitate the victims of the fire and successfully extinguished the fire.
One firefighter was injured when they fell through an upstairs window and another was electrocuted trying to save the family, but both have since been released from hospital.
Firefighters retrieved Darren Le (10) (pictured) from the burning house in Hinchinbrook in south-west Sydney before he was rushed to Westmead Children’s Hospital, where he died.
Sources have told Daily Mail Australia that emergency services personnel who attended the scene will be given leave after many were shocked by the confrontational scenes
First responders outside the scene at Hinchinbrook on Sunday
Mrs. Le’s husband, Ming, is still in critical condition and fighting for his life, while Mrs. Le and a woman in their 60s are said to be in stable condition.
The woman in her 40s who died is believed to be the caretaker of Mr Le’s mother, whose neighbors said she had dementia.
Neighbors said Mrs Le’s screams echoed through the neighborhood.
“I can’t get the mother out of my head,” Natalie Borg told News Corp.
“She was on her knees stamping the ground and saying ‘save my son, save my son’.”
The day before the tragedy, Ms. Le shared a Buddhist Facebook post in Vietnamese of a praying young child.
The scene was especially traumatic as first responders desperately tried to get the family out of the burning house
Vicki Le, the mother of a 10-year-old boy who died with two others in a tragic house fire, posted a chilling Facebook message hours before the fire broke out
Father Ming Le, Darren Le and his mother Vickie Le were trapped in upstairs bedrooms along with three others after fire broke out in the garage and spread to the stairs
The translated caption read: ‘Your mind is good, but your suffering is because you have to pay for the karma you have sown in the past.
“Instead of blaming me, I should make amends and create blessings every day, the karma is paid off and the sky is clear.”
The post added: ‘Wish the honest people in this life are always at peace…’
Friends have since added sobbing emojis in response to the post.
There is no suggestion that the fire was intentional.
The Rottnest Ave fire is believed to have started in the garage around 5:30 a.m. Sunday before spreading to the home’s stairs, trapping the family upstairs.
The day before the tragedy, mother Vickie Le had shared a haunting Buddhist Facebook post in Vietnamese of a young child praying, saying: ‘Your suffering is because you have to pay for the karma you have sown’
A neighbor bravely broke into the house and fought the flames with a garden hose before firefighters tried to reach the family trapped in the bedrooms.
Fire and Rescue NSW said the three-bedroom house had no working smoke alarms and firefighters were “devastated” by the tragedy.
Firefighters have responded to more than 500 house fires in NSW since June 1, with 13 people killed in fires this winter. Only four died in the winter fires in NSW in 2021.
Darren Le died (pictured in 2015) after the fire broke out in the house that firefighters said had no working smoke detectors
“Our people will be affected,” said Megan Stiffler, head of Fire and Rescue NSW.
“A fatal accident involving three people is devastating and makes us uncomfortable.”
Ms. Stiffler urged families to keep their fire alarms working.
“We cannot stress enough that to keep your family safe at home at night, having a working smoke alarm is critical,” she told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Monday.
“House fires strike so quickly. With a working smoke detector people can leave that house as quickly as possible.’
Chief Inspector Adam Dewberry added: “Smoke detectors save lives.
‘Nearly 50 percent of homes hit by fire this winter have not had a working smoke detector.’