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Port Hedland mother charged with murder of three children who were found dead after fire

By Grace Burmas and Cameron Carr
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The children's mother has been charged as the local community continues to mourn their deaths.

The mother of the three children who were found dead after a house fire in Port Hedland in WA's Pilbara region has been charged with murder.

Homicide detectives have charged the 36-year-old woman with the murder of her 10-year-old daughter, seven-year-old son and five-month-old son.

She is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today on three counts of murder and one count of criminal damage by fire.

The woman was taken into custody shortly after firefighters found the bodies of the three children last Tuesday afternoon, when the house fire had been brought under control.

A police forensic officer stands with her back turned to the camera, next to a police car.
Police gathered forensic evidence at the house after discovering the children dead.(ABC News: Amelia Searson)

She was later flown to Perth for further medical treatment.

A community in mourning

The family of the woman and children was seen grieving near the home comforting each other on Thursday afternoon while authorities moved the children's bodies from the site.

In a statement, the family asked the public and local community to respect the investigatory process, something police said would take time.

A van near police tape exits a house
The bodies of three children were removed from the property last Thursday.(ABC News: Amelia Searson)

"Our family is going through a very traumatic grief process," they said in a statement released by police on Friday.

"We request that people do not speculate and make comments on the events surrounding the passing of our beautiful children.

"We ask that people respect our cultural protocols and not mention our children's names, or share their images without our permission.

"We are quietly paying tribute to our three little angels, and just supporting each other at this time."

Family 'flooded with attention'

The Department of Communities said last week that the family at the centre of the incident was well-known in the area.

Flowers, teddy bears and cards sit propped against a tree near the scene of a tragic house fire in Port Hedland.
Floral tributes and teddy bears were left near the house amid an outpouring of grief.(ABC News: Tom Robinson)

"They're 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.

"They've been flooded with attention … they've asked everyone if they could please give them space to grieve, to be private, to go through this."

The WA Country Health Service has encouraged people in the community to prioritise their mental health in the wake of the tragic incident.

"Now more than ever, it's important that we continue to be there for one another," regional manager Roger Golling said.

A wide shot of a house with police tape cordoning off the scene and a police officer standing to the left.
Emergency services were called to the fire at the Anderson Street home last Tuesday afternoon.(ABC News: Tom Robinson)
Posted , updated