Max Chirila’s family was grieving another loss before his death in Brisbane house fire

Alex Szilagyi set off on his motorbike on Good Friday.

Beloved by his family and widely respected as a devout Christian, he was preparing to welcome his fifth child with his wife Debbie.

Watch the video above: Grandfather of Max Chirila speaks after boy’s death in Brisbane fire

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He was just 34 when he fatally crashed into a car in Logan, south of Brisbane, that day.

He died less than a minute from his home – and his family passed the crash site to and from home.

Three days later on Easter Monday, Alex’s sister-in-law Nancy Andrasescu was woken up by a phone call.

“My brother called me and said, ‘have you heard the news?’ ” she told 7NEWS.com.au, “he said, ‘it’s not good’.

“We’re absolutely devastated.”

Alex Szilagyi, his wife Debbie and their children. Credit: GoFundMe

The news was that six-year-old Max Chirila, whose father Paul is Nancy’s cousin, had died that morning in an intense house fire in the Brisbane suburb of Clayfield.

The two families are part of a large extended family well known in the close-knit Romanian-Christian community in Brisbane.

On Wednesday, they will meet together for the first time since the twin tragedies.

Six-year-old boy Max Chirila died in a house fire in Clayfield in Brisbane on Monday morning.
Six-year-old boy Max Chirila died in a house fire in Clayfield in Brisbane on Monday morning. Credit: 7NEWS

“We understand that there’s a lot of deep grief on both sides,” Andrasescu said.

“I guess the understanding of the grief is where we can support each other. It’s very hard for everyone at the moment.

“Everyone has been united in supporting and showing love and doing what we know Jesus would do, which is to comfort and love and support and to bear the grief and bear the burden of the grief with another.”

As family members try to provide emotional support for their loved ones, there has been a significant level of financial support for the families from the public.

More than $160,000 has been raised for Alex’s family and about $45,000 for Max’s.

Fire investigators at the fire-damaged home of Max Chirila at Clayfield in Brisbane.
Fire investigators at the fire-damaged home of Max Chirila at Clayfield in Brisbane. Credit: darren england/AAP

People in Australia have dug deep, but the donations have come from all over the world, which Andrasescu attributes to widespread connections through global Romanian communities.

“We’ve felt a lot of love and a lot of support,” she said.

“There’s a lot of prayer and a lot of people sharing the burden of grief that’s too much to bear.

“We are extremely appreciative. We are completely overwhelmed and really want to extend our deep gratitude to everybody.”

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