Cop rejects rumour after children die in fire
Police have dismissed rumours surrounding the mother of the twin girls that died in a house fire in NSW's southwest yesterday, blasting them as "disrespectful" and "unhelpful".
Police were called to a home on Mayday Rd, Batlow, just after 11am yesterday following reports of a house fire.
The three-year-old twins, Aisha and Lailani, were pulled from the house by firefighters but despite efforts to save them they died at the scene.
Their mum Tanyka Ford and her five-year-old son were outside the home and could only watch on in horror as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.
Today, Superintendent Bob Noble dismissed rumours that Ms Ford may have been away from the home when the fire started.
"I'm not aware of any information that supports that narrative. Obviously, we've obtained an initial version from the mum, who was understandably distraught," he said.
"It will take some time for our expert investigators to tease out all the detail. Obviously, in the first throes of a devastating event such as this, she's going to find it hard to collect her thoughts and communicate. But I don't have any information that supports that narrative."
Superintendent Noble said "rumour, innuendo and speculation" surrounding the tragedy was "unhelpful".
"We need to deal in evidence. We need to deal in facts and facts can't be ascertained without corroboration and checking of those facts and sourcing and that's what our police will do, he said.
"They do it well. They're very experienced. They know what they're doing. We need to trust them to get to the bottom of it.
"Entering into speculation and conjecture is very unhelpful. It's very hurtful to the family. It's very hurtful to the community. It may be very, very unhelpful for investigators. And, let's face it, it's disrespectful to the memory of these two little babies to be entering into conjecture that might want to point fingers."
He said rumours would only make this tragedy more difficult for the family of the girls.
"These are two little babies that lived a short life and they died suddenly, unexpectedly and in horrific circumstances," Superintendent Noble said.
"We want the family to be able to enjoy their memory as much as they can, without it being sullied by unhelpful conjecture and speculation, because it would be quite damaging and very unhelpful to the investigation."
It is still unclear how the blaze started but police did confirm there was a wood fire burning in the home before it went up in flames.
Superintendent Noble said investigators were "keeping an open mind" while working to determine the cause of the fire but could not confirm whether there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.
"We need to approach this from an objective point of view and keep all possibilities on the table," he said.
"Please bear in mind that there is a community that is severely affected by the deaths of these two young people. They were babies. They were twin girls. And it's a community that's been through devastation in recent times with bushfires.
"No doubt this particular family are devastated and all those within that social circle, the immediate and broader family - we feel for them and we're trying to treat them with as much dignity as possible and it's a hard time for them."
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the children's uncle, Levi Ford, to help their mother and surviving brother "with clothes, food and other things".
"My sister tragically lost her three-year-old twin daughters in a house fire, which claimed not only the lives of these two young children but also their home and belongings," Mr Ford said.
"Her son has lost all the belongings including toys and clothing …. Losing everything is hard enough without having to worry about financials.
"Anything no matter how small would be appreciated."
Originally published as Cop rejects rumour after fire tragedy