Mother tackles flames and saves baby

A NEWBORN baby was among three members of an Ipswich family that had a lucky escape today when fire broke out in their lounge.Alison Matthews, her teenage daughter, Sian, and her week-old baby Daniel were treated for smoke inhalation after the blaze at Henniker Road at around 10am.

A NEWBORN baby was among three members of an Ipswich family that had a lucky escape today when fire broke out in their lounge.

Alison Matthews, her teenage daughter, Sian, and her week-old baby Daniel were treated for smoke inhalation after the blaze at Henniker Road at around 10am.

The drama is thought to have begun when a decorative lamp fell, a Galileo thermometer, over near a gas fire. Its alcoholic contents ignited and splashed all over the laminate floor, spreading the flames.

Mrs Matthews immediately began battling the flames herself by pouring bowls of water on the fire but was suffering from the effects of the smoke.

Two fire crews and two ambulances arrived to find that she had managed to extinguish the fire but needed treatment for smoke inhalation.

Neighbour Gary Ireland was woken by his panicking mum, shouting for him to go and help as the house next door was on fire. But he was beaten to the scene by a friend of his who was staying the night.

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The man, who did not want to be named, said: "I ran out in bare feet and kicked down the door. The smoke was so thick it was difficult to see and I couldn't stay in there very long. It was coming from some burning clothes and a rug that was alight.

"I saw that the woman was tackling the flames herself."

They all then managed to escape the smouldering house and wait for the fire service.

Another neighbour, James Sinclair, said that the man had probably saved the families lives.

He added: "I first knew about the fire when I looked out my window and saw the fire engines. I was very worried for the family, particularly as they have just had a baby."

Husband Gary and her other daughter Hannah we not in the end-terrace house at the time.

Fire crews opened the windows and doors to let the smoke out and then concentrated on the casualties.

Assistant Divisonal Officer Karl Rolfe said: "It was not a big fire. There was no structural damage and not very much smoke damage. The family were lucky.

"We are quite confident that everyone will be OK and the family have gone to hospital as a precautionary measure."