Woman rescued dogs from fire but forgot grandson

Matt Dickinson,Press Association
Wednesday 09 June 2010 09:31
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A woman told how she accidentally left her grandson in her burning house as she rescued her beloved dogs.

Mandy Hands, 45, said she forgot 11-year-old Curtis was sleeping inside the house in Coventry after she gathered up the family's four greyhounds and son Ashley, 16.

She only remembered her grandson after someone asked whether anyone else was inside - prompting a rescue operation by firefighters.

Mrs Hands told the Coventry Telegraph: "I can't get over the fact I left my grandson in bed.

"I was panicking so much trying to get everyone out that I forgot he was here. I never even checked on him.

"It was only when we were outside and someone said, 'Is there anyone else in there' that I remembered him, but no-one could get back in.

"I stood outside shouting up at the bedroom window and that was when the fire engines arrived."

Firefighters found Curtis - who was visiting from Portsmouth - asleep in a back bedroom and carried him to safety down a ladder as flames consumed the kitchen downstairs.

All three occupants were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation after the drama in Woodway Lane, Walsgrave, on Monday morning.

Mrs Hands' husband Craig, 41, and their eldest son, also called Craig, 19, left for work before the fire broke out.

It is thought a faulty toaster started the blaze, which gutted the kitchen and damaged the rest of the house.

Lee McDonald, watch commander at Binley Fire Station, said the family was "very lucky to be alive".

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