Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (2024)

A man allegedly tried to hinder the emergency response to a house fire that killed three of his children, including a 10-month-old baby girl, in Sydney’s west, sparking a mass murder investigation.

The girl’s body was found when the fire at the Lalor Park home was extinguished, while two boys, aged three and six, died in hospital in the early hours of Sunday.

“We are treating this as a domestic-related multiple homicide,” Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said.

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“We’re alleging this 28-year-old man did certain actions to prevent the rescue of those young lives that were lost.

“Those actions were (allegedly) intentional of keeping police and responders and neighbours out of the property while it was on fire, with the intention of keeping the kids inside.”

The children’s father, 28-year-old Dean Heasman, is in a coma with significant injuries. He is also in police custody.

Emergency crews were called to Freeman St about 1am and arrived to find the home well-alight.

Five trucks were on scene within 15 minutes but the well-developed fire made it difficult for firefighters to enter the home, Fire and Rescue NSW said.

A “heroic” neighbour rushed to help, with their actions saving further lives from being lost, police said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze before the body of a 10-month-old girl was found.

The boys were taken to Westmead Hospital in a critical condition but died a short time later.

The three children are yet to be formally identified.

Four children — one nine-year-old girl and three boys aged eleven, seven and four— were treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to Westmead Hospital in stable condition.

Their injuries are not believed to be serious and police plan to speak with the children, police said.

Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (2)
Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (3)

Police said the children’s mother, a 29-year-old woman, was also taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

Blacktown Police Area Command Acting Superintendent Jason Pietruszka alleged police efforts to enter the burning home were “frustrated by a male inside”.

Police arrested Heasman at the scene.

Pietruszka was unable to confirm reports he was armed while trying to stop others from entering the property, but said it would be probed as part of the investigation over coming days.

He confirmed Heasman was the father of the deceased children and lived inside the home.

“He is not adversely known to police nor is he before the courts for any matter,” he said.

He was treated for smoke inhalation and taken under police guard to hospital, where he remains in an induced coma.

Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (4)
Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (5)

Emergency crews arrived to “chaotic scenes” and did all they could to rescue those inside, NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Adam Dewberry said.

Firefighters faced an “extremely ferocious” blaze, with temperatures between 600C and 700C.

“You’re always expecting the worst, hoping that it won’t be, and last night it was the worst that firefighters could experience,” Dewberry told 7NEWS.

He praised the work of first responders during a “confronting” emergency.

“We had a child sitting on a police constable’s lap while they were getting treated by paramedics,” he said.

“This is just a tragedy all round.”

Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (6)

‘Utterly devastating’

Auslene and her mother Bascaline Francis awoke to the “horrible” sound of the fire.

“The first thing I heard was the screaming,” Auslene said.

“It was traumatising.”

Bascaline added: “It was horrible.”

Neighbour Anthony Yaacub recalled seeing the surviving children as first responders attended the scene.

“I saw them sitting down, they were pretty shocked,” he said.

“It’s just sad, three innocent lives gone.”

Brett Cramp looked outside to see fire “shooting out of the windows” as the fire crews pulled up.

“It was pretty intense flames,” he said.

Friend Douglas King, who was a close friend of the children’s father, told 7NEWS he was usually a “calm, collected, nice person”.

“I can’t believe it,” he said.

“It hurts ... it’s devastating.”

Doherty said support was on offer to the family.

“Three young lives were taken away in the most tragic circ*mstances,” he said.

“It’s quite unimaginable how the family are coping with this at the moment.”

Pietruszka added: “It’s completely and utterly devastating.”

“It’s a close-knit community and this will have a long-lasting impact,” he said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Homicide and arson squads and fire investigation teams are examining the scene.

A dog trained to detect accelerants would be used to help investigators determine what was used to start the blaze.

Investigations are continuing, and a report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.

- With AAP

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.

In an emergency, call 000.

Advice and counselling for men concerned about their use of family violence: Men’s Referral Service, 1300 766 491.

Dad accused of killing three of his young kids in house fire identified (2024)
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