Melbourne: A 27-year-old woman, trapped in a fire in her second-storey apartment in Australia, dropped her two-day-old baby and toddler from a window to rescuers.
The woman had climbed onto the windowsill in her home in suburban Lakemba in Sydney's south-west, unable to escape fire when the firefighters arrived for rescue last night. She dropped her 2-day-old baby and 2-year-old toddler down to a passerby from second floor, 6 metre above the ground, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday.
The children were uninjured by the fire and their fall. Firefighters used a ladder to rescue the woman who also escaped serious injury. Residents from surrounding apartments made numerous calls to rescue authorities last night to report that a number of apartments in the three-storey block were on fire, and people were possibly trapped inside.
The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen of the woman's apartment, before spreading to surrounding areas. "The flames prevented the woman from reaching her front door, so she grabbed her two children and rushed to the window, where she flagged down a man below," Senior Constable Jamie Wallace said.
"She ended up dropping the two kids out the window and he caught them," he added.
According to a witness, neighbours dragged out a mattress and placed it below the window, and a sheet was used to catch the children. "The identity of the man who caught the baby was not known. After doing his heroic deed, he just wandered off into the night, so we want to say thank you to him," New South Wales Police spokesman said.
The woman was taken to St George Hospital suffering from cuts to her feet and smoke inhalation. Around 50 people were evacuated from the apartment block during the fire. "The fire was not believed to be suspicious," police spokeswoman said.