‘We heard loud screams’ in fire death house
Witnesses to a fatal house fire in western Sydney say they heard "one man screaming really loudly" minutes before his death.
Emergency services were unable to revive the man, aged his 30s, after the blaze on Utzon Rd Cabramatta West about 6am today.
The public housing single storey home, which neighbours say has regular visits from police and other people, remains relatively intact.
"It was just one man screaming really loudly," witness and neighbour Cassandra Aiono said.
"It makes me really sad that someone passed away, I thought it was just a fire.
"I didn't know them but, in general, there were a lot of people coming in and out of that house."
Police are still trying to contact family members of the victim and are yet to formally identify him.
Numerous families have approached the home this morning in the mistaken belief that the victim was their relative.
The man was found in the loungeroom and dragged outside, but was unable to be revived.
NSW Fire and Rescue and NSW Police remain at the scene.
Danni-Maree Giles said her 45-year-old mother left the home in recent months after it was overrun by squatters.
"There were five or six people coming and going and we could not get rid of them so we just had to get my mother out," Ms Giles," 23, said.
"The window at the back is broken so they will just come in the back. There are a few houses around here where they do that.
"They are all homeless and mum felt sorry for them - but they took over the house."
Ms Giles said the victim had a Cambodian appearance.
Other neighbours said the man was often out the front smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
"He's so friendly and kind and would always say hi to all the neighbours," Utzon Rd resident Rose Mokhter said.
"It's heartbreaking and the kids are so sad."
Police believe the fire started in the centre of the home.
Detective Inspector Richie Sim, from Fairfield Police, said "we do not believe it is suspicious but we are treating it as suspicious until we can exclude that as a possibility".
"This is also a timely reminder for everyone to check their smoke detectors," Insp Sim said.
"Whether or not the smoke detector was working at the time of the fire is the subject of an ongoing investigation."