Clayfield boy killed in tragic house fire in Brisbane’s north identified as Max Chirila


Heartbreaking audio has emerged of the moment a mum realised her young son had been killed in a horror house fire.

Max Chirila, 6, was unable to escape the blaze that engulfed his family’s home in Clayfield in Brisbane’s north in the early hours of Monday morning.

His life was tragically cut short two weeks shy of his seventh birthday. 

His parents and little brother managed to escape in time as neighbours woke to the sound of ‘deafening screams’.

Chilling footage of the flames ripping through the home captured the desperate cries of Max’s mum Karen after she realised she couldn’t go back in to save her son still trapped in his bedroom at the back of the home.

‘No! No!’ she’s heard screaming.

‘He’s gone! He’s gone! He’s gone!’

Her shattered husband was also seen at the scene in a wheelchair being comforted by firefighters and friends before breaking down in tears.

He had managed to escape the blaze on a broken leg suffered in a recent scooter accident.

A tragic house blaze in Brisbane’s north claimed the life of six-year-old Max Chirila (pictured with mum Karen)

A six-year-old boy has died after a fire ripped through a home in Brisbane 's north

A six-year-old boy has died after a fire ripped through a home in Brisbane ‘s north

Max was just two weeks from celebrating his seventh birthday before he was killed in the blaze at the Barlow Street home in Clayfield at 4am on Monday

Max was just two weeks from celebrating his seventh birthday before he was killed in the blaze at the Barlow Street home in Clayfield at 4am on Monday

Another family member was seen collapsing to the ground in grief and shouting, ‘Maxie, Maxie my boy’. 

Max’s devastated father returned to the scene on Monday afternoon, where he was consoled by family and friends.

He inspected bouquets of flowers and heartfelt tributes left by locals, including a school hat left by one of Max’s classmates at Ascot State School.

‘Hope you sleep well in heaven Max,’ a gutwrenching note read.

Max has been remembered by friends and family as a bright and lovely young boy who loved Lego. 

The family told Nine News they feel like they’ve lost their entire world in a split second.

Neighbour Jenn Davidson recalled Ms Chirila’s confronting screams and her harrowing devastation when she realised she was unable to go back in to rescue her son.

‘When she realised she couldn’t go back in to save him, it’s something that I’ll never, ever forget,’ she told reporters.

The tragedy has rocked the tight-knit community which have rallied around the heartbroken family. 

‘They’re a lovely local family,’ a shocked neighbour told the Courier Mail.

‘The flames were metres and metres in the air and then we heard screaming. It was a bit confronting. Really awful.’ 

Another added: ‘They were very nice people, quiet and beautiful neighbours.’

Max's heartbroken dad sobbed for his son as he was consoled by firefighters at the scene

Max’s heartbroken dad sobbed for his son as he was consoled by firefighters at the scene

Max's mum was heard screaming for her son still trapped inside the burning Clayfield home

Max’s mum was heard screaming for her son still trapped inside the burning Clayfield home

An online fundraiser has already raised more than $15,000 within hours. 

An unimaginable tragedy has occurred with the loss of young,’ the page states.

‘Hoping to raise as much money as possible to assist the family and show that our community is with them at this terrible time.’

Firefighters battled the blaze for 45 minutes before extinguishing the flames and discovering Max’s body in a bedroom. 

Firefighters are still trying to ascertain the cause of the blaze. 

It’s understood the fire may have been sparked by a possible electrical fault with charging batteries.

‘The crews did the best they could when they arrived, and we had 26 firefighters here who worked tirelessly to get it under control,’ Superintendent Paul Durston said.

‘The fire developed and gets very hot internally and then the windows fail and all the air comes in and the fire starts to enrage quite quickly.’ 

Karen Chirila and her husband  (pictured) were gearing up for Max's seventh birthday

Karen Chirila and her husband  (pictured) were gearing up for Max’s seventh birthday

Superintendent Durston said fire crews were ‘distraught’.

‘They [the crews] made their way down the hallway to the back of the house where the fire is believed to have started, and then from there worked their way back extinguishing the fire,’ he said.

Neighbours said they heard ‘deafening screams’ and sounds of explosions as the fire ripped through the house.

‘The fireball was metres, and metres, and metres in the air,’ one said. ‘We heard the screaming and it was a bit confronting, and really awful.’ 

Another added: ‘I looked out and all I could see was smoke. It was thick’. 

Neighbours said they heard 'deafening screams' and sounds of explosions as the fire ripped through the house

Neighbours said they heard ‘deafening screams’ and sounds of explosions as the fire ripped through the house

The mother and four-year-old were treated for minor injuries while the father was treated for burns to his hands

The mother and four-year-old were treated for minor injuries while the father was treated for burns to his hands

The family were described as ‘nice people’ and ‘beautiful neighbours’. 

The mother and four-year-old were treated for minor injuries while the father was treated for burns to his hands. 

None of the family members required treatment at hospital. 

Queensland Police launched an investigation into the cause of the fire. 

‘At this stage due to the damage of the house, we haven’t been able to ascertain any cause of the fire,’ Superintendent Durston said. 

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