A 3-year-old girl has died due to a house fire on Monday evening at Freshwater area in Port Vila, allegedly caused by a burning candle left unattended. Her mother was rushed to the hospital with burn injuries.

An eyewitness who attempted to save the little girl by breaking through the main door of the house said some people tried to put down the fire by using a garden hose, but it was futile against the blazing fire that engulfed and burned down the semi-permanent building.

“I arrived with a couple at the site but the flames had already engulfed the building. I kicked open the main door and was met with a blazing fury. I simply could not endure the blazing fire,” he told the Daily Post with grief shortly after the house was burnt to the ground.

The man said he was travelling in a vehicle with a couple through Freshwater to buy bread from the bakery at the time.

The house was directly in their direction and people were shouting. They then stopped at the scene and tried to help.

“There was a young man with a garden hose connected to a water tap as he tried to hose down the fire, but it was too strong and already filled the house,” he said.

“People were shouting that a toddler was inside the house. The mother attempted to enter the house but the blaze was too strong.

“I then kicked open the main door but that was also futile.”

The eyewitness added he tried to forcefully open an area at the back of the house but it was not possible.

“It was then that we all realized that the fire had already engulfed the whole house. The mother received burns on her body and everyone realized it was too late to save the little 3-year-old girl,” he said.

Eyewitnesses confirmed the fire truck arrived at the scene but by then the fire had already burnt down the house. Police have sealed off the area for investigations.