'She was conscious': Mum dies in hospital after agonising suffering in car fire tragedy

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·3-min read

A mother who was severely burnt when she was set alight in a Brisbane car fire which claimed the lives of her three young children and her husband has died in hospital.

Queensland Police confirmed Hannah Baxter, 31, died from her injuries at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital early on Wednesday evening.

Her children – six-year-old Aaliyah, four-year-old Laianah and three-year-old Trey – were killed in the incident on a quiet suburban street in Camp Hill in the city’s east about 8.20am on Wednesday.

Her husband Rowan Baxter, a former New Zealand Warriors rugby league player, also died in the blaze.

Police are investigating the incident as a potential murder suicide, but have not ruled out the possibility that it was an accident.

Hannah Baxter pictured with husband Rowan and their three young children who died in the Camp Hill car fire.
Hannah Baxter with her husband, Rowan, and their three young children. Source: Facebook

But one witness told News Corp Ms Baxter had run from the car screaming: "He's poured petrol on me."

Neighbours reported hearing multiple explosions before seeing the car engulfed in flames in Raven Street.

Another man who tried to help at the scene was also taken to hospital with facial burns.

Neighbour Andrew Sinclair described seeing Ms Baxter alight as she screamed for help.

“The pain she would have been suffering mentally and physically – she was conscious during this time – would have been horrific,” he told the Today show on Thursday morning.

Dozens of emergency services personnel attended the scene at Camp Hill, Brisbane.
Dozens of emergency services personnel attended the scene. Source: AAP

He said the flames were “so intense” and felt like near a camp fire even from 20 metres away.

Mr Sinclair also said another woman came out of her home with a hose in a desperate bid to put out the flames that had enwrapped Ms Baxter.

One witness told The Australian the mother was “rolling on the footpath in flames”.

A second person said Ms Baxter’s skin was “peeling off her (with)... bits hanging off”, The Courier Mail reported.

The Baxters were owners of a fitness centre, but had reportedly separated late last year.

The family was not involved in any Family Court or Federal Court proceedings.

Detectives are still trying to establish how the fire started.

Father active on Facebook prior to deaths

Mr Baxter's Facebook profile is littered with pictures and videos of the three children, along with comments saying he "loves them to the moon and back" and "daddy misses you all".

Six days ago his friend, Joey Abraham, wrote under a photo of little Trey: "Chin up brother everything will work out just hang in there my bro alot of people care about you and the situation your facing (sic)."

Rowan Baxter posted on Facebook about how much he loved his kids.
Mr Baxter had previously posted on Facebook about how much he loved his kids. Source: Facebook

Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said on Wednesday it was too early to draw any conclusions over the incident.

"How the fire actually occurred has not been ascertained at the moment, so for us to call it a murder-suicide or a tragic accident, it's inappropriate at this stage," he said.

"I've seen some horrific scenes - this is up there with some of the best of them.

"It's a terrible thing to be presented with."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.

With AAP

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