‘It was like a nightmare’: Mother and child killed in house fire

An 18-year-old mother and her four-year old son were killed in a house fire in northern NSW early yesterday, after their home collapsed, police say.

Police were called to a house in the Chippenam area of Larkfield after a housemate told them she had seen a woman and two children being forced to climb into a house with other people inside and fire broke out.

“At about 5.20am the deceased were found in a fire pit on the ground floor of the house,” Detective Inspector Greg Leake said.

“She was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

The woman and the children, who were in the house when the fire brokeout, were identified as 19-yearold Mary Ann Higgs, of Chippensham, aged 18, and her 15-year newborn son, Christopher.

The boy is believed to be the only child in the family.

Ms Higgs’s brother, James, said he was shocked and saddened by the incident.

“It’s so tragic,” he said.

She had a lot of love and she was always smiling.””

We miss her very much.”

She had a lot of love and she was always smiling.

“It’s like a horror movie to think what she would have done.”

I just want to give her a hug.

A very brave young lady”The tragedy happened on the same day as the coronavirus outbreak was revealed to be linked to the spread of the virus.

Ms Leake is continuing to investigate the cause of the fire. “

The fire was the result of a fire-related incident, but is not being treated as a coronaviral event at this time,” a spokeswoman said.

Ms Leake is continuing to investigate the cause of the fire.

The coroner will now conduct a coronial inquest into the deaths, which will determine if the death was a homicide, an accident or a fire.

Ms Haggs was a resident of the Chisholm home in Larkfields for about three months, a spokeswoman for the town said.

It was unclear whether she had been a resident for more than three months.

Ms Higgs was the daughter of a local man, who had been employed by the family for about a year, the spokeswoman said, but no details were given.

She was married to a man who had worked in a nearby dairy, the spokesman said.