25 Aug 2011

Vigil continues at fatal fire scene

10:10 am on 25 August 2011

A vigil will continue in Queensland until all the bodies are removed from the remains of a house where 11 people from the Tongan and Samoan community died in a fire on Tuesday night.

Three women and eight children died after their two-storey home went up in flames at Slacks Creek, in Logan city south of Brisbane.

The ABC reports hundreds of people held at vigil at the scene overnight.

Ministers from five different churches addressed the crowd.

Police say the two families staying in the house were asleep when the blaze began downstairs, but it is still not known how it started.

Eight of the victims were children or teenagers. Four bodies have now been removed from the site.

Superintendent Noel Powers says it is a grim task for search crews. It was the worst fire in Queensland since the Childers backpackers tragedy a decade ago.

Logan Mayor Pam Parker says one of the two families who perished in the fire had only recently arrived in Australia.

She says they were only staying in the house until they found somewhere else to live.

The ABC reports the families belong to the Logan Central Multicultural Uniting Church.

It is understood the families are from Tonga and Samoa and many of the children attended Mabel Park State School nearby.