NEIGHBOURS rushed to the rescue of a three-year-old boy caught in a “roaring inferno” after a house caught fire yesterday.
The boy was handed out through the front window of the home to a neighbour who came out after hearing screams of “fire”.
Flames engulfed the ground and first floor of the terraced property in Cossham, Bristol, shortly before 7am yesterday.
Nine people were inside the home. Neighbours helped six of them to escape the blaze, while a woman and two girls were rescued from the roof by fire crews.
At least two generations of one family are believed to have lived in the property, along with several dogs, one of which died in the fire.
Neighbour Lionel Fear climbed up a ladder at the back of the property and helped to pass a baby down to safety.
The 30-year-old construction manager said: “I woke up about 6.15am to shouts and screams and thought it was just a small domestic or something, but then I heard the shout of ‘fire’ and popped my head out the bathroom window and saw smoke bellowing out of the back window.
“I came downstairs to see the mother with three children on the lower roof. Me and the neighbours put a ladder up, clambered up the ladder and brought as many of them down as we could until the fire brigade arrived.
“There was a three-year-old who was handed out through the front to a neighbour. I think he’s very lucky to get out alive, to be honest.
“It was a roaring inferno. At one stage, when I was up the ladder, something popped or a window blew. I was just carrying a baby down and it obviously scared the baby, as there was some shards and shrapnel came out and landed on him.”
Fear said the family were new to the area and had not lived in the rented property for long.
Firefighters managed to bring the fire under control.
Four ambulances attended the scene, one of which took the three-year-old boy to Frenchay Hospital, which has a specialist burns department.
A baby, three other children, two teenagers and two adults were also taken to the hospital as a precaution.
A spokesman for the Avon Fire and Rescue Service said: “The service was advised that persons were reported missing in the property, and on arrival crews found a developed fire on the ground and first floor of a private house with a number of people requiring rescue.”