Rachael MacCracken with twins Willow and Sage and their younger sister Starlia.
Rachael MacCracken with twins Willow and Sage and their younger sister Starlia. John McCutcheon

Fatal fire not caused by arson

POLICE have ruled out arson as the cause of the fire that claimed Matt Golinski's wife and three daughters and left the celebrity chef fighting for his life.

In a statement this afternoon, police said they had finished their examinations at the Tewantin home following the horrific blaze early on Boxing Day.

Preliminary information suggests the fire was not suspicious but the investigation continues, police said.

The formal identification process of the deceased is still to be complete.

The house has been handed back to the family.

'His family was his life'

CELEBRITY chef Matt Golinski has had the "lights of his life extinguished" after his wife and three daughters were killed in a fire which engulfed the family's Tewantin home.

The tragedy has shocked neighbours and colleagues in the restaurant industry who yesterday told of a fun, loving family with a zest for life.

Mr Golinski, a regular on the TV show Ready Steady Cook lost his wife Rachel and their three young daughters, twins Sage and Willow and their younger sister Starlia, when the blaze destroyed their wooden home at Jacaranda Pl.

Distraught friends said Mr Golinski lived for his "extraordinarily tight" family.

Sage and Willow had a rare metabolic disorder with similar symptoms to cerebral palsy.

Friends said Mr Golinski, co-owner of successful Noosa-based catering business The Rolling Dolmade, worked tirelessly to make the twins' lives better.

"They kept very much to themselves as a family but they were delightful people," shocked neighbour Patricia Guilford, said.

"He had a lovely wife in Rachel and his three daughters Willow and Sage and Starlia were wonderful.

"He was not just a celebrity, he had your average, caring, hard-working, lovely family.

"He was severely burnt and I just don't know what he's going to do."

Neighbour Gary Siljac said he often saw the children playing in the street.

"The first time I spotted them was at an old-school lemonade stand with a sign and a wooden table," he said. "It was so cute. It's just heartbreaking to know they were such cute kids.

"They always gave us a wave when they drove past ... always smiling."

Well-known Noosa restaurateur Jim Berardo said the chef had overcome "many, many obstacles" due to his deep love for his family, a humbling work ethic and a positive attitude.

"When you're in a profession like Matt's, you're required to give 120% all the time," said the "gutted and saddened" Noosa Food and Wine Festival co-founder. "It's really, really difficult to meet the needs, the special needs, of those types of issues (the twins faced).

"Most of us have a hard day. He had two hard days - one at work and one at home. An incredible man."

Mr Golinski's former boss, Leonie Palmer-Fisher, said her friend showered his family with affection.

"To see them (Mr Golinski and his wife) grow strong with them (the twins) and then to have another daughter … to see this family yet again with strength and love was amazing," she said.