A young mother was forced to drop her two children – a two-day-old baby and a two-year old boy – out of a second-storey window as flames engulfed her home in Australia.
The woman, 27, had no option but to throw her children to residents on the ground as a deadlocked door prevented their escape following a kitchen fire in their home.
The youngsters were caught by neighbours and survived the ordeal unharmed, Australia’s Daily Telegraph reports.
The father of the family’s neighbour came to the rescue with a foam mattress and a bed sheet – which he held with seven others to break the children’s fall.
Khaoula Yahiaoui, who apparently suffered smoke inhalation in her efforts to help the family, said her father’s training in the Tunisian army gave him the idea to use the sheet.
The blaze started at around 9.30pm on Thursday when the mother was cooking in her home in South-West Sydney, and quickly spread through the building.
She was reportedly rescued from a window by the New South Wales Fire Department, who sprayed her with water to keep her cool as she waited.
According to the website about 50 people were evacuated from the Lakemba apartment block in Wangee Road.
The woman was taken to St George Hospital along with a 65-year-old man for smoke inhalation. She also suffered cuts to her feet from standing on the ledge of a broken window.
Superintendent Adam Dewberry told the Telegraph the incident could have been “a horrific tragedy”.
“Neighours did a fantastic job, putting mattresses on the floor and catching the baby, it was a really good support network from the neighbours.”