Abdul Barati, 43, and the couple’s two sons, aged 9 and 6, escaped serious injury when the Guildford home caught fire at 3.35am yesterday on Tuesday.
Adel Barati, 30, was heard screaming for help as her husband tried to use water from a tap to put out the inferno before she died. He told neighbours who rushed to help to call firefighters.
When firefighters arrived the Clement Street St house was well-alight and there was little they could do to save Mrs Barati.
The boys were being cared for by family members as their father was being questioned over the circumstances of the blaze by the Homicide Squad.
A neighbour said she heard the woman’s cries for help.
“There’s a lady screaming, but when my husband arrived to wake her up the screaming stopped already,” Manni Chen told Channel 9.
“My husband tried to help the man, he said ‘do you need help?’ he said ‘no, no, no, just call the fire station’ and then my husband said ‘let the two kids get out’ and the man said ‘no we are fine’.
“The man tried to use a water tap to get the fire down, but he just told my husband call the fire station.”
Shortly after the fire Mr Barati was pictured crouching next to a car before police officers, who had been standing over him, led him into a caged police car.
Mr Barati spent all day at Merrylands Police Station and was last expected to be charged by Strike Force Cathie detectives.
Another neighbour Khodr Fatfat said residents couldn’t believe Mrs Barati had died in such painful circumstances.
“Terrible, terrible. Shock to us I can’t believe it happen in my street,” he said. The couple are believed to be duel Afghan-Australian citizens.