A woman was locked outside her home last week while it slowly filled with smoke from a chip pan fire – with her young daughter still trapped inside.
The fire brigade described it as a “nightmare scenario”, but luckily the incident in Goldsworthy Gardens, South Bermondsey ended with no serious injuries.
The drama unfolded on December 5 at around 3pm when the mother put a pan of oil on the hob and went outside onto the balcony to get frozen chips from her freezer.
The door, which had a defective lock, closed behind her and she found herself unable to get back in to her child – with the oil heating and smoke beginning to fill the house.
She called her caretaker, who used a ladder to join her on the balcony. He couldn’t get into the flat either so they called the fire brigade.
Firefighters managed to break into the flat along with the caretaker and the mother. The child was rescued, suffering only from minor smoke inhalation, and taken to hospital for treatment.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It’s a nightmare scenario being locked out of your flat with your child inside and the flat filling with smoke. Thankfully the child only had minor injuries and there was minimal damage to the flat.”
Firefighters discovered there was no battery inside the smoke alarm, so they fitted a new one free of charge.
The spokesperson said: “Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.”
The incident, which was attended by firefighters from Peckham, Old Kent Road, New Cross and Deptford fire station, was over by 4pm.