A mother of four has died in a Sydney house fire after her son was pushed back by flames as he tried to save her.
The 55-year-old woman, named in media reports as Lynne Young, was asleep in an upstairs bedroom of the Bangor home when the fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday.
Her 33-year-old son tried to save her but the internal stairs collapsed as he tried to reach her, neighbour Martin Bristow said.
Two men, thought to be Ms Young’s son and her partner, managed to escape the two-storey house on Paringa Place.
Mr Bristow ran into the street just after 4am to find the house well alight and a man, believed to be Ms Young’s son, with emergency services personnel.
“He was sitting on the side of the road with police and he was pretty knocked up because he tried to get the mother out but he couldn’t get up the stairs, they were collapsing,” Mr Bristow told AAP.
Mr Bristow said it didn’t take long for the fire to completely destroy the home which he believed Ms Young had lived in for more than 30 years.
“When I got there, you could see the flames in the upstairs bedroom and then all of a sudden it broke through the roof and leapt about three metres in the air,” he said.
Mr Bristow’s wife Dianne said she was shocked by the intensity of the fire.
“It went up so fast, it was really ferocious,” she said.
Firefighters worked on both levels of the home but had to evacuate the property when the roof began to collapse, a Fire and Rescue spokesman said.
The blaze was extinguished after an hour and Ms Young’s body was found during a subsequent search of the house.
Paramedics treated the victim’s son for smoke inhalation before he was taken to Sutherland Hospital in a stable condition.
It’s understood the victim’s partner was also assessed by paramedics but didn’t require hospitalisation.
Neighbouring homes were evacuated and also sustained damage from the fire.
Mr Bristow was told the destroyed home’s garage was full of stored items and the wall had collapsed into a neighbour’s property.
“No one really got to know them too well, they pretty much kept to themselves,” Mr Bristow said of the family.
Investigators are still to determine the cause of the blaze.