Firefighters were first called to the home in Werribee at around 1am on Sunday morning with the house “fully alight” upon arrival.
The mother and father and their eight-year-old child survived the blaze and were taken to hospital with smoke-related injuries.
Once the fire was extinguished the 10-year-old and three-year-old boys and the six-year-old and one-year-old girls were found dead inside the house.
During the fire in Werribee four children were trapped inside the home when the roof collapsed. Picture: David Crosling
Lieutenant of the Werribee Fire Brigade Damian Milloy who was at the scene said the fire was so fierce firefighters were unable to get into the home.
“We were presented with a house that was very well alight and fire had already broken through the roof and was already coming out the front door,” he said on Sunday morning.
“Because of the intensity of the fire it was very difficult for our crews to initially make access and with the roof already being compromised and the tiles collapsing it was unsafe for our members to proceed with an internal attack.”
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Lieutenant Milloy said the collapsing roof made it impossible for firefighters to save the children.
 “The fire itself we have seen many times before,” he said.
Police and arson squads are investigating the cause of the fire that left four children dead. Picture: David Crosling
“But the complexity involves then having four children trapped inside the house and in a way feeling a little bit helpless that you can’t get in there.”
Lieutenant Milloy said the tragic scene caused havoc for the firefighters trying to assess and extinguish the fire.  
“We were made aware of three people that had escaped the fire,” he said.
“With the distress of the parents and the eight-year-old it was very difficult to get accurate information early on to be able to focus our search areas.”
As a result of the roof collapsing Lieutenant Milloy said it became a priority to protect the adjacent houses.
“Very early on in the firefight we wanted to make sure we protected exposures we were able to get hose lines down each side of the property,” he said.
The first crews arrived just after 1am with the fire not under control until 2am while the scene was only declared safe at around 5am.
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CFA Commander David Clancy praised the roughly 40 firefighters from the Country Fire Association and the Fire Rescue Victoria who attended the blaze.
“Firefighters worked under very challenging conditions and had to attack the fire externally due to its intensity,” Commander Clancy said.
One firefighter was taken away from the scene after complaints of “chest pain” but Lieutenant Milloy said he had recovered.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ashley Ryan said it was a tragic situation before adding that the police and arson squad detectives are currently investigating the cause of the fire.
“It’s a terrible set of circumstances, and one that’s very difficult for members of the family, and our hearts go out to the family with what has occurred here this morning.”
“We are calling on anyone that may have information, who was driving past at the time, any dashcam footage, anything that may be able to assist us with the investigation,” he said.

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