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Emergency services on the scene of yesterday's Quaker Hill fire.
Emergency services on the scene of yesterday's Quaker Hill fire.
Image: @GrillTeam via Twitter

Sydney nurse charged with murder after nursing home fire

Roger Dean, a nurse at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, told reporters yesterday he had braved the smoke and flames to rescue residents. He was arrested last night and charged today with murder.
Nov 19th 2011, 4:31 PM 2,778 16

A NURSE who claimed he rescued patients from a burning nursing home in Sydney, Australia has been charged with four counts of murder.

Five people died in the fire which destroyed a nursing home in the Quakers Hill area of Sydney yesterday, and 13 others were critically injured.

Registered nurse Roger Dean, 35, appeared in court today via video link but did not speak. He was refused bail and is due to appear in court again on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists yesterday in the wake of the fire, Dean said he had tackled the smoke to rescue patients inside: “I quickly did what I can to get everyone out, and the smoke was just overwhelming.”

Investigators have said that the fire started in two places in the property and that the roof partially collapsed, blocking access to the scene. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Firefighters described the blaze as a worst nightmare scenario because people inside were unable to get themselves out of danger.

Four people died yesterday as a result of the fire and a fifth person, a 97-year-old woman, died today in hospital. Police said today that three of the five victims have been formally identified.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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Susan Ryan

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