The sister of a young mum who was killed alongside her partner and their newborn daughter in a southwest Melbourne house fire has said she was already an amazing mother.
Abbey Forrest, 19, her partner Inda Sohal, 28, and their daughter Ivy, who was just 19 days old, died when fire engulfed the Point Cook townhouse on Wednesday morning.
The young family had only moved in three weeks earlier.
Jenny Hayes, 46, who was charged on Thursday evening with three counts of murder and three of arson causing death, declined to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday night as her case was briefly mentioned.
Abbey’s sister, Emily Forrest, fought back tears as she visited what remains of the house on Thursday, laying flowers and a Peppa Pig doll outside in a tribute to the “beautiful souls”.
“I just know that she would just turn around and just tell me to try and remain really strong,” she said.
“She’s always been a really brave person.”
Emily said the couple should have been celebrating “the perfect time of their life”.
“Now this awful tragedy has happened,” she added.
“She was an amazing mum, she just took to it like a duck to water, and I’m so incredibly proud of her.”
Neighbours have recalled hearing screams and cries for help, with one man said to have thrown an axe and rocks to break an upstairs window that wouldn’t open.
Emily thanked those who risked their lives to try and save them.
“Knowing and hearing about the neighbours trying to save them just makes me feel at ease knowing that there were decent people around trying to help her,” she said.
‘You’ll be missed’
A GoFundMe page created to cover funeral and memorial costs has raised more than $16,000 in less than 24 hours.
“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,” Emily wrote.
Tributes have flowed for the couple on social media as devastated friends and family come to terms with the tragedy.
“Rest in piece Abbey, Indi and baby Ivy,” friend Jemma Webb wrote on Facebook.
“I hope that heaven treats you good (sic) … you’ll be missed.”
– with AAP