Grieving ‘horrendously’: Broken family ripped apart by fire
A FAMILY who lost three "angel" children in an inferno that ripped through their Hunter Valley home say they've been left "gut- wrenched" and are grieving "horrendously".
It was also revealed yesterday Kara Atkins' beloved pet dog likely perished in the blaze which broke out at her family's Singleton home at 3.30am on Wednesday.
Five-year-old twins Matylda and Scarlett and their 11-year-old brother Blake could not be saved.
Ms Atkins and eight-year-old sister Bayley were pulled from the flames and survived.
They were taken to John Hunter Hospital where they remain stable and as "good as they can be emotionally".
"To be in that moment when we were told we lost our daughters, son, grandchildren, nieces, nephew and cousins, and to re-hearit on the news repeatedly, to see it on social media is gut-wrenching for our family because we are grieving horrendously," relative Britt Rinkin posted on Facebook.
Ms Rinkin thanked those who rushed to support the family as donations moved past $191,000 on GoFundMe.
"We are very thankful for all the love and support everyone has given our family."
"Our little angels are resting in peace," she said.
Hunter Valley Police District Command Superintendent Chad Gillies yesterday confirmed that a dog had also died in the blaze and its body was found under the house.
"A deceased dog was found under the building," he said.
"They have removed the dog's body from under the house and taken it to the vet to be disposed of."
In the morning following the tragedy a relative of the family had asked people if they could keep a look out for a golden labrador named Oscar.
Neighbours said the family had at least one pet dog.
Singleton resident Hank Gutter was one of many people to lay flowers outside the torched home yesterday as floral tributes grew.
"It's just so sad, it's a tragedy," he said.
"I just wrote on the card that I hope there is some way things can get better for you. He said town's florist was struggling to keep up with the demand for flowers. The Salvation Army has sent a chaplain to the town of about 22,000 people to provide support as many locals struggle to come to terms with the events.
Supt Gillies yesterday said investigators were now waiting on forensic analysis results before the coroner would comment on what sparked the blaze.
Investigators are looking into whether a wood combustion heater was the cause.