Trapped Margate family of six rescued from fire by neighbours

Robert Blaskett
Image caption Robert Blaskett and another neighbour helped rescue the family from the fire

A family of six were rescued from a fire in their home in Kent by two neighbours who heard their screams.

The mother and her five children became trapped on the first floor of their property when fire broke out in the kitchen in the early hours.

Two men climbed on to railings to break through a bathroom window at the house in Vicarage Place, Margate, and pull them to safety.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service praised their "extreme bravery".

One of the rescuers and the family were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

'Lady screaming'

Crews using breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze which destroyed part of the the kitchen and caused smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Neighbour Rob Blaskett said it was a "pretty frightening" situation and he was still "really shocked".

He said: "We heard screaming and shouting and looked out of the window and saw black smoke billowing out of the bathroom window and a young lady screaming out.

"Me and the wife went out and had a good look and ended up smashing the window and pulling the children through the window.

"There was two of us. There was another chap, he was leaning against the railings where the little window is and the mother was passing the children out."

Mr Blaskett said: "She was screaming and shouting for the last child. All I saw was a pair of hands sticking up through the window.

"I reached up and grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and pulled her out through the window, back to safety."

Margate watch manager Paul Ward praised the actions of the rescuers, particularly the one who suffered smoke inhalation.

He said: "While we would always advise people not to enter a building that is on fire.

"The man's actions in rescuing this family were extremely brave and with considerable risk to his own safety."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service believes the fire started after an electric cooker was left on accidentally.

Mr Ward added: "It seems that although there was a smoke alarm fitted on the ground floor, it didn't activate and it appears the batteries may not have been inserted fully.

"Our advice to residents would be to ensure that you have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor of your home and to test them regularly to ensure they will provide early warning to a fire."

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