Screaming mum holds baby out of window as fire rips through flats

A terrified mum dangled her baby out of a third floor window screaming for help as smoke filled her flat after a fire this evening.

Firefighters believe an electrical fault in a washing machine sparked a blaze in a first floor flat, in Knightswood Court, Mossley Hill, at around 5pm which caused thick smoke to rapidly spread throughout the complex.

As desperate residents scrambled to escape, there were some unable to make it out before the smoke filled communal corridors.

But thanks to the selfless actions of neighbours, passers-by and BT engineers with an aerial platform, there were no serious injuries.

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The most shocking scenes came as a family with a baby became trapped on the third floor, and were rescued thanks to those heroics and the fact a set of scaffolding was in place next to their flat.

One witness said: "I was just cycling past and you could see smoke and everyone was screaming.

"There was a woman hanging a baby out of the window, shouting 'someone help, someone help us'.

Heroic workmen pulled a family from a window as smoke began to fill the flats

"Then these workmen came with a ladder and used the scaffolding to get up to her and carry the baby out.

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"The baby was screaming, and when they got the mum to the bottom of the ladder she just collapsed, her legs went.

"They saved lives, if they hadn't have helped and if there hadn't have been scaffolding there someone would have died."

Another witness said: "Three men climbed up scaffolding whilst lots of us sourced ladders to get a family with a young baby from the top floor. They are heroes that need a mention."

One man living opposite the flats said: "There was smoke billowing out the first and second floor and residents all running out.

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"There was a man trapped on the second floor above the fire in his window. They initially pulled a van under him to jump on to then a BT van with a crane came and they tried to get him out with that."

The ECHO was also told a man who was a passenger in a passing car climbed the scaffolding to help rescue the child.

A couple living on the second floor, directly above the flat where the blaze started, described the terrifying speed that smoke began seeping under the front door and filling the air.

Aftermath of a fire which started in a flat in Knightswood Court, Mossley Hill

Italian natives Michele Corrias, 34, and Martina Scampini, 35, were also rescued from a window after being trapped by smoke.

Mr Corrias, a software developer, told the ECHO: "At first we heard neighbours screaming for everyone to get out.

"I looked through the peephole at our door and within two minutes I couldn't see anything because of the smoke.

"It starting coming under the door and we went and stood by the window because it was hard to breathe.

"It was very scary, someone helped us out of the window."

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) said the fire had caused significant damage to the building.

Michele Corrias, 34, and his partner Martina Scampini, 35, were rescued from a flat in Knightswood Court, Mossley Hill, after being trapped by smoke

MFRS area manager Gary Oakford, speaking at the scene, told the ECHO: "We initially responded with three fire engines which subsequently went up to five.

"We encountered a well developed fire which had spread within the communal stairways causing significant smoke damage and structural damage internally and around the rest of the compound.

"Neighbours had carried out a number of rescues prior to our arrival and we at MFRS are extremely grateful for that.

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"MFRS officers did escort a man in his 60s out of a flat using a smoke hood, which we carry since the Grenfell Tower disaster to give people more confidence to escape.

"Two people have been taken to hospital for a precautionary check after experiencing smoke inhalation, including the man in his 60s and a baby.

"We will remain on scene and conduct a thorough investigation with out emergency service partners."

AM Oakford said initial checks pointed towards an electrical fault with a washing machine, but stressed this was not yet confirmed.