Point Cook Melbourne fire victims of coach surfing revenge attack

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EXCLUSIVE: How innocent young couple and their newborn had no chance of escaping alive after a woman, 46, they didn’t even know allegedly set their home on fire in ‘revenge attack on couch-surfing housemate’

  • Victoria police has laid charges over a fatal housefire in Melbourne’s south-west
  • A young couple and newborn baby were killed in the blaze at Point Cook 
  • Forty firefighters battled the fire for an hour on Wednesday at about 3.40am 
  • Abbey Forrest, 19 Inda Sohal, 25, and baby Ivy were engulfed in the blaze
  • Police have charged a 46-year-old woman with murder and arson 

A young family had no chance of escaping the raging inferno that claimed their lives. 

Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 28, and their baby daughter Ivy were killed in the blaze at Point Cook in Melbourne  south-west in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Daily Mail Australia can reveal their alleged killer had no disagreement whatsoever with the young parents – who were innocent victims of an alleged revenge attack on their housemate. 

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with three counts of murder

The bodies of Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy (pictured together) were found inside a Point Cook townhouse on Wednesday morning after a blaze tore through the property

The bodies of Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy (pictured together) were found inside a Point Cook townhouse on Wednesday morning after a blaze tore through the property

Police tape remains across the gutted remains of the Point Cook property where three people died on Wednesday

Police tape remains across the gutted remains of the Point Cook property where three people died on Wednesday 

Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy had no chance of escaping the inferno amid allegations the only exit had been torched

Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy had no chance of escaping the inferno amid allegations the only exit had been torched

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with three counts of murder and arson causing death after allegedly deliberately starting the fire. 

Police on Friday confirmed Hayes did not know the family she has been charged with murdering. 

Detectives will allege Hayes used an accelerant to douse the stairwell of the Point Cook home before setting it alight.

A source has told Daily Mail Australia that just hours earlier, she had allegedly argued with her on-again, off again boyfriend who had been ‘couch surfing’ at the property. 

The 28-year old male and close friend of Mr Sohal had allegedly kicked her out of the property before heading out for the night. 

He was not even home when police allege Hayes got into the home and set her deadly trap. 

‘They had no chance of escape. They were trapped,’ the source said. 

Mr Sohal’s friend is said to be in deep shock over the tragedy and remains in the care of other ftiends.

On Friday, devastated neighbours were seen crying as they packed their belongings out of their adjoining properties. 

Town houses on both sides of the doomed property were damaged in the inferno.  

One distraught neighbour, still clearly in shock, was heard cursing the woman charged over the alleged murders. 

‘We all could have died. It could have been all of us,’ she said. 

Family members stood quietly outside of the property, which is now lined with flowers and tributes to the young family. 

The tragedy has hit all those that venture near the property, with a builder telling Daily Mail Australia of his distress upon entering the gutted home.

‘It’s just terrible. It’s an awful mess,’ he said. 

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with three counts of murder

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with three counts of murder

Shattered friends and family attended the Point Cook property on Friday

Shattered friends and family attended the Point Cook property on Friday 

Emily Forrest visited the scene of the fatal house fire on Friday morning to lay flowers and a toy outside the remains of the home (Pictured left to right: Abbey Forrest, her sister Emily Forrest and their parents)

Emily Forrest visited the scene of the fatal house fire on Friday morning to lay flowers and a toy outside the remains of the home (Pictured left to right: Abbey Forrest, her sister Emily Forrest and their parents) 

Neighbours had tried to rescue the family, but the family perished in the house fire

Neighbours had tried to rescue the family, but the family perished in the house fire

Police continued to patrol the area on Friday as builders worked to assess the damage inside the doomed property.  

Hayes declined to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday and was remanded in custody. 

Her lawyer Erin Byrt told told Magistrate Luisa Bazzini she didn’t know her client’s connection to the young family.

The court also heard Hayes was on pain medication for arthritis and restless leg syndrome and her state in prison was ‘poor’. 

Baby Ivy would have been three weeks old today.

The young family had only just moved into the house less than a month ago to start life as a new family.

Abbey’s sister Emily Forrest visited the scene of the fatal house fire on Friday morning to lay flowers and a toy outside the remains of the home. 

She laid a Peppa Pig stuffed toy at the house in tribute of baby Ivy.

She described her devastation at losing her sister who she said was ‘over the moon’ to become a mother.

Emily said she had just met her niece once and even then it was very brief.

‘I came home from a camping trip early and sneaked into the hospital and got in a quick little visit despite COVID, and then we had a beautiful family dinner a week or so ago, so we got to meet everybody and our son got to meet his cousin so that was really beautiful,’ she said.

‘Abbey deserved so much more than this,’

Tributes have poured in for the deceased family with Ms Forrest's (left) sister Emily (right) visiting the burned site on Friday morning

Tributes have poured in for the deceased family with Ms Forrest’s (left) sister Emily (right) visiting the burned site on Friday morning

She laid a Peppa Pig stuffed toy at the house in tribute of baby Ivy who was just two days away from turning three-weeks old

She laid a Peppa Pig stuffed toy at the house in tribute of baby Ivy who was just two days away from turning three-weeks old

Emily said her sister had taken to motherhood like a ‘duck to water’ and that she was incredibly proud of her.

‘I just know that she would just turn around and just tell me to try and remain really strong,’ Emily said. 

‘She’s always been a really brave person.

‘She had the biggest, boldest personality. She was great. I’ll always cherish the memories that I had growing up with her. She was my only sibling.’

Emily has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to cover the costs of their funerals.

‘I’m raising money to help with the cost of funerals and memorials for all three of these beautiful souls who had their lives tragically cut short.

‘Any help is greatly appreciated.’  

More than $9,000 has been raised since the fundraiser was launched. 

The young family was found inside the Point Cook townhouse on Wednesday morning.  

Forty firefighters battled the monster blaze for almost an hour which destroyed the townhouse (pictured) within three minutes and saw two neighbouring houses damaged

Forty firefighters battled the monster blaze for almost an hour which destroyed the townhouse (pictured) within three minutes and saw two neighbouring houses damaged

Emergency services rushed to the Totem Way property at Point Cook about 3.40am Wednesday with reports of a two-storey property engulfed in flames

Emergency services rushed to the Totem Way property at Point Cook about 3.40am Wednesday with reports of a two-storey property engulfed in flames

Neighbours rushed to help the couple after hearing frantic screams coming from the home but they were unable to break through the door in time to get them out. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Kennedy said a neighbour made a ‘heroic and brave effort’ to rescue the occupants with a ladder but was overwhelmed by the intensity of the flames.

‘Sadly they did their best but the fire took its toll and nothing could be done,’ Sen Sgt Kennedy said. 

‘In the early hours of Wednesday, December 2nd, a house fire in Point Cook claimed the lives of my 19-year-old sister, her loving partner and their almost three-week-old daughter,’ she wrote. 

Forty firefighters battled the monster blaze for almost an hour which destroyed the townhouse within three minutes and saw two neighbouring houses damaged. 

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined but it is being treated as suspicious. 

‘It certainly is being treated as suspicious, predominantly because of the intensity of the fire,’ Sen Sgt Kennedy said.

‘When fire services first got here it was fully engulfed.

‘The townhouse was raging, particularly at the front and upstairs … with accidental fires that doesn’t normally occur.’ 

One of the neighbours, Jemil, said he felt ‘sick to his stomach’ after not being able to rescue the woman he saw trapped inside the home. 

Police attended the Point Cook property on Wednesday after the house was gutted by fire

Police attended the Point Cook property on Wednesday after the house was gutted by fire

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined but it is being treated as suspicious, as an arson chemist investigates

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined but it is being treated as suspicious, as an arson chemist investigates

‘We tried everything. We didn’t know what else to do. We couldn’t run into the house,’ he told The Herald Sun

He said the woman was gasping for air at one of the top-storey windows and a different neighbour threw an axe in attempt to break it so she could jump out.

Unfortunately when the axe did break the glass the woman ‘went silent’.  

‘It’s kind of horrifying, gruesome and I just feel sick to the stomach knowing there was someone in that house. It’s pretty terrifying,’ he said.  

Lockie Allen and his father live behind the burnt property and said when they ran outside the entire house was engulfed in flames. 

‘We’re right behind so that could have been us… you don’t want to imagine it was us, you don’t want it to be (anyone),’ he said.   

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