PICTURED: Twin girls killed in horrific house fire near Byron Bay

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Two twin girls who died from smoke inhalation at their father's home near Byron Bay have been identified.

Ophelia and Tarrow, 4, were asleep when a candle is believed to have started a fire at the 20-home commune they were staying at in Goonengerry, west of Byron Bay, early on Sunday morning.

Their father James Wright was at a bonfire at a neighbouring property before rushing to his daughters' aid once discovering the fire.

Despite a distressing Triple-0 call made by his partner, the girls could not be saved.

Ophelia and Tarrow pictured with their mother Akira. Source: 7News
Ophelia and Tarrow pictured with their mother Akira. Source: 7News

The sisters, pictured by 7News, were visiting their father for the weekend. The candle is understood to have been in the same room as the girls on top of a piano.

Authorities are investigating the incident with NSW Police telling Yahoo News Australia inquiries continue as of Tuesday morning. 

Their mother Akira Garton is "heartbroken" and visited the commune on Sunday, a friend told the Daily Telegraph.

She lives roughly 15km away in nearby town Mullumbimby. 

The Goonengerry home where the girls were sleeping at the time of the fire. Source: 7News
The Goonengerry home where the girls were sleeping at the time of the fire. Source: 7News

Mr Wright ran as the Ballina candidate for the independent political party Keep Sydney Open in 2019 with the party's CEO Tyson Kho describing him as a "loving father".

"He's really cut up over this," he said.

A resident from the commune described how Mr Wright was "inconsolable", the Daily Telegraph reported.

“He was on the floor on his knees, he was crying no no."

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon told the ABC the tight-knit Goonengerry community is in a “state of shock”.

Locals have laid flowers at the entrance of the property with messages of support for the girls' family.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting