The smell of smoke lingers in the air of a quiet gated community that’s still in shock by the death of their kindly neighbour – believed to be at the hands of the estranged ex she came here to escape.
Investigations are underway to determine exactly how 49-year-old Doreen Langham’s violent ex Gary Hely, also 49, managed to get inside the high security estate called the The Promenade, in Browns Plains, south of Brisbane, and allegedly set the townhouse on fire, killing both.
Their bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the townhouse inferno 12 hours after it started early on Tuesday morning – with detectives will now try to determine exactly how Hely was able to enter the private property.
Neighbours told Daily Mail Australia security is strict and visitors must be buzzed in via one of the two front gates leading into the community. ‘There’s one way in, and one way out’, a female staff members said.
On February 9, just two weeks before the fire, Ms Langham was granted a temporary protection order against Hely.
And just days before the home was torched, Ms Langham had the locks changed in a desperate attempt to keep her ex out.
Investigations are underway to determine exactly how a 49-year-old man managed to get inside the estate, where two bodies were found in the rubble
The gutted home remains a crime scene on Tuesday, more than 24 hours after a woman and her former partner perished in the house fire. Pictured are forensic police examining the scene
Doreen Langham (pictured) is understood to have lived in fear of her partner before the terrifying fire on Monday
They combed through dirt and rubble, all that remained of Ms Langham’s home, searching for clues and closely examined a yellow canister with a flute sticking out of it (pictured) that they found in the ground
Investigators combed through dirt and rubble for any clues as to how the fire started – and paid close attention to a yellow canister with a flute sticking out of it that they found in the ground.
Officers appeared to test if another item, which was also pulled from the wreckage, fit inside the canister, which had a lengthy serial number on the side.
The young woman said she and her best friend were horrified to learn of their neighbour’s death.
‘I couldn’t even get my car out to get to work, I had to get a friend to pick me up and drop me home because there were so many cops and other cars blocking me in.’
The young woman said she’d come across several ‘interesting people with colourful backgrounds’ living in the complex.
Her former partner Gary Hely, both 49, was also recovered from the blaze on Monday night, 12 hours after emergency services scrambled to the scene
Officers were particularly interested in a yellow canister that was pulled from the wreckage
Police believe it may take up to a week for fire investigators to prepare a report about the cause of the fatal fire. Pictured are police scouring through the gutted remains on Tuesday
The house was reduced to rubble, while the neighbouring property was significantly damaged as well (pictured)
A staff member in the complex agreed that the community was ‘extremely secure’.
‘This is a super secure estate. One way in, and one way out,’ the woman, who did not want to be named, insisted.
Mr Healy’s car was found across the road shortly after officers arrived on the scene.
Detectives honed in on a metal fence which backs onto the property from a side street, indicating it could be a potential entry point for the accused.
The stench of smoke continues to set off smoke alarms in neighbouring houses more than 24 hours after firefighters were able to put out the blaze.
A neighbour said the sound of a smoke alarm woke her in the middle of the night on Monday and gave her ‘quite a fright’.
Detectives were on the scene on Tuesday morning and had cordoned off much of the quiet street
Officers appeared to test if another item, which was also pulled from the wreckage, fit inside the canister, which had a lengthy serial number on the side (pictured)
‘It was definitely nerve-wracking,’ she said of hearing the alarm. ‘I really didn’t know what to think.’
At least two more houses had scares on Tuesday morning.
The townhouse was razed completely to the ground in the blaze.
Detectives were on the scene on Tuesday morning and had cordoned off much of the quiet street.
The bodies of a woman and her former partner were pulled from the gutted home on Monday night. Pictured is the cordoned off crime scene on Tuesday morning
Emergency services were called to the townhouse engulfed in flames in the Logan suburb of Browns Plains south of Brisbane around 4am Monday morning after neighbours heard a woman’s terrified screams
The house next door has also been significantly damaged in the blaze. The side of the light-brick home was painted black from soot.
Emergency services were called to the townhouse engulfed in flames in the Logan suburb of Browns Plains south of Brisbane around 4am Monday morning after neighbours heard a woman’s terrified screams.
Authorities would not comment on the open investigation
Detectives were joined by fire inspectors on Tuesday, who assessed the rubble
Detectives spent hours sifting through the rubble on Tuesday morning. The investigation is expected to take days
Preliminary investigations indicate the blaze was deliberately lit, with neighbours telling police the huge fire spread within minutes.
Fire inspectors are assisting police at the scene.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addressed the incident during her Tuesday morning press conference.
‘It’s an absolute tragedy, I understand the police are doing a thorough investigation there and look I just have to wait to see what the police say,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.
‘It’s just unbelievable this is happening in this day and age.’