Mother smashed through glass to save daughters from burning home

Andrea Nicolas

Neighbours frantically rushed to save a nine-year-old girl who suffered horrific burns in a suspected arson attack on her home in South Australia.

Her mother had to break through a glass door to get the girl and her 14-month-old baby sister out of the burning Port Pirie home alive.

Neighbours heard sickening screams just before 6.30am Thursday when flames engulfed the house in Taylor Court.

Neighbour Rosemary Fridd spoke to 7 News about how the inferno engulfed the property.

The nine-year-old girl was cut from her charred clothing. Source: 7 News
The mother had to smash through glass to rescue her daughters. Source: 7 News

"I saw one flame... like a wall of red flame going across the front of the house," she said.

Neighbours recalled how the girls' mother Teresa desperately smashed through the glass sliding door and got her daughters out.

They ran across the road to Colleen Hunt's house for help, who said she saw them "running up my path saying 'please help me, help me please'".

Police are investigating the fire. Source: 7 News
The nine-year-old girl was taken to the Women's and Children's Hospital. Source: 7 News

The nine-year-old suffered the worst injuries, with Ms Fridd rushing the girl to her place where she put her burns under water until an ambulance arrived.

"I cut her top off," she said. "I took her in the bathroom, I put the cold water tap on her."

The girl was airlifted to the Women's and Children's Hospital while her mother and baby sister were taken to Port Pirie Hospital with minor burns.

The mother and her 14-month-old daughter were taken to Port Pirie Hospital. Source: 7 News

The family's two dogs perished in the blaze, neighbours said.

Police are treating it as suspicious and fire investigators from Adelaide were on scene collecting evidence on Thursday afternoon.