Terrified mum throws baby from burning flats in Alway, Newport
9:02am Monday 19th August 2013 in News
Amy Peterson who had to pass her baby Faye Harris aged 11 months out of a second floor window after an arson attack in the stairwell of her block of flats in Alway, Newport (881920)
A TERRIFIED mum was forced to throw her baby from the window of her first floor flat after a fire started deliberately on the floor below trapped them inside.
Amy Peterson, 19, opened the front door to her home on Aberthawe Road, Alway, Newport, around 10.50pm to find the corridor filled with thick black smoke.
She shut herself, her sleeping 11 month-old daughter Faye, and dog Pippa, into a bedroom, opened the window and desperately shouted for help.
Two men passing by told her to throw the baby down.
She said: “The men said I couldn’t get out because the fire was outside the entrance, they told me to drop the baby down.
“I was panicking because I thought 'what if they drop her?' I lowered her down as far as I could so her feet were not that far from the man’s hands. I was terrified I wasn’t going to get out and if I was stuck I didn’t want the baby to be there with me.”
Crews from Maindee, Malpas and Duffryn attended the blaze and extinguished the fire but Miss Peterson had to wait another 50 minutes until the staircase cooled enough for her to leave.
She and Faye were taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital as a precaution but were discharged later without injury. Dog Pippa also escaped uninjured
Doris and Geraint Lloyd, who live next door were forced to take refuge on their balcony until it was safe to leave.
Mrs Lloyd said: “I opened the door and just screamed to him [Mr Lloyd]' come on there’s a fire'. It was terrible we couldn’t get out, we had to go on the veranda – there’s no fire escape.
“I was scared, we didn’t know what to do. There were firemen and police everywhere, they were asking if we were all right.”
Miss Peterson, whose partner Mark Harris was out at the time of the blaze, is now staying with family because she is too frightened to return home.
She said: “I’m too scared at the moment because there is no fire escape. If the stairs were like they were there is no way of going anywhere.
“They should look into getting a fire escape because I didn’t want to drop her [Faye] out the window but I knew I had to do it for her to be safe.”
Jennie Griffiths, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s head of fire control, said on Twitter that a motorbike parked in the foyer of the block of flats was set alight deliberately.
Newport City Homes workers were at the apartment block yesterday making the blackened entrance safe. All three widows in the stairwell were smashed in the blaze and the doors to the six properties are partially melted and covered in soot.
Anyone with information about the blaze should contact Gwent Police on 101.
Were you one of the men who helped rescue the baby? Call the Argus newsdesk on 01633 777226.
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