TV chef's family dies in blaze
CELEBRITY chef Matt Golinski is in a critical condition with severe burns while police investigate a fire which is believed to have claimed the lives of his wife and three daughters at his Tewantin home.
Neighbours woke to hear screaming, the crackling sounds of fire and Mr Golinksi calling for help from his Jacaranda Place home about 3.30am.
They described finding Mr Golinski in a distressed state with burns to much of his body and a fire with so much heat they could do little to help.
A Department of Community Services spokesperson said the man, believed to be in his 40s, was taken to Noosa Hospital in a critical condition.
Once he was stabilised, he was transferred to Nambour General Hospital and then airlifted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service inspector Lloyd Johnston said firefighters from Noosa, Tewantin and Cooroy attended the fire.
He said it was engulfed in fire when they arrived and firefighters could not conduct an internal search and rescue mission.
"It was fairly fruitless at that time because the house was totally involved," he said.
"We've now got our teams on site and they're conducting some shoring up of the premises in conjunction with the police and fire service investigators to stabilise the premises to enable us to remove the bodies from the home.
"(The survivor) was in a very distressed state, he was suffering from quite severe burns.
"Some firefighters and neighbours administered first aid to that patient until he could be transported to hospital.
"It's a family crisis and it is Christmas. It's an absolute tragedy that this has occurred at this time of the year.
"It's a tragedy at any time of the year but at Christmas it really hits home."
Mr Johnston said the three-bedroom home, which is not visible from the street, was a colonial style timber home.
He said there was not yet any indication of what had caused the fire but investigators would work towards that end.
Police superintendent Terry Borland told media outside the home about 9am tthat four people were deceased inside the home but their identities could not be confirmed.
"When the building is safe we can go in and commence our investigations to try piece together what has gone on in this tragic circumstance here," he said.
"The organisations (fire service and police) are well prepared for these sort of events, as tragic as they are we have a job to do.
"All our officers are well versed in what they need to do, they need to remain objective and they to piece together what's gone on here and explain how it's come about.
"If there's anything there to benefit in the future, to limit these sorts of events, then we'll certainly look for those answers."
Mr Golinski, who was born on the Sunshine Coast, lived at the home with his wife Rachel, twin daughters Willow and Sage, and daughter Starlia.
He is the former chef at Noosa restaurant Ricky Ricardos and has a regular spot on TV show Ready Steady Cook.
Most recently he has focused on his own catering company and tapas range The Rolling Dolmade.
More to come