Port Hedland house fire: Mum Margaret Hawke charged with murder of children

Port Hedland house fire: Mum Margaret Hawke charged with murder of children

A mother-of-three has been charged with murder after her three young children died in a house fire in Western Australia last week.

Margaret Hawke, 36, will appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with the murders of her 10-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son and five-month-old son.

The bodies of the three children were discovered inside their Anderson St home in Port Hedland, 1500km north of Perth, on July 19.

The house was allegedly set alight about 4.45pm while the three children were inside.

Hawke was placed into police custody and questioned about the incident soon after emergency services arrived at the scene.

She was taken to Hedland Health Campus for injuries she suffered during the blaze, before being flown to Perth for further specialist treatment on Thursday.

Hawke has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of criminal damage by fire.

The family of the three children called it a “shattering loss.”

“Our family is going through a very traumatic grief process,” relatives said in a statement issued through WA Police on Friday.

“We are unable to put into words the shattering loss that we are all feeling at this time.”

Their deaths have rocked the small tight-knit town of Pilbara, with Pilbara District Police Superintendent Kim Massam describing the event as “tragic” and “unprecedented”.

“To have three children perish in a fire, I’ve never had that in my experience, and it’s a terrible, terrible thing to have occurred,” he said.

He also said police were “very concerned about the mental health of our community”.

The Department of Communities said the family was well-known in the area.

“They’re (the family) going through the most difficult time that you could imagine. They’re grieving for the loss of these babies,” the department’s acting regional executive director Sally Kirk said.

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