Crying baby saves family from Girlington blaze

The scene of the fire

The scene of the fire

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A teething baby saved the lives of its family from a fierce blaze that destroyed their Bradford home.

The one-year-old boy woke his parents and four other family members with his crying only minutes before they realised a fire had started in an empty front bedroom early yesterday.

Smoke alarms alerted them to the blaze but when they opened the bedroom door they found fire had taken hold and they were forced to flee the house.

Rahilla Naz’s mother, two brothers, their wives, and two children – including the baby – were in the semi-detached property on Upper Woodlands Road, Girlington, at the time.

Mrs Naz, who also lives in the street, said: “We were lucky because my little nephew is teething and had woken up crying. The baby saved their lives.

“If they had been in the house two more minutes they wouldn’t have got out.

“We are heartbroken and shocked, but also relieved. The main thing is everyone is fine.”

Fairweather Green fire station watch manager Jamie Lister said it was only by luck there had not been multiple fatalities due to the ferociity of the fire.

“It was extremely bad – one of the worst I have seen,” said Mr Lister.

“Flames were flying out of the bedroom window and it broke through to the roof – it was extremely aggressive.

“They have been so lucky. Without smoke alarms, we would have had multiple fatalities this morning.

“As soon as we got to the street we didn’t need to look at the house numbers. We could see the flames straight away. It must have taken hold really quickly to get as aggressive as it did.”

The bedroom and attic were destroyed by the fire. A window frame in the bathroom at the back of the house was blown out on to the driveway.

Mrs Naz, 38, said: “My husband woke me and said stay calm, your mum’s house is on fire.

“It was engulfed in less than ten minutes. Windows were shattered – it was just like a bomb, it exploded.”

One neighbour said: “Flames were coming out of the window and roof – it was horrendous.”

Fire crews from Fairweather Green and Bradford stations were called to the blaze at about 3.15am. Mrs Naz said: “We cannot praise the fire service enough.”

The next-door property, where other family members live, had to be evacuated as it was full of smoke.

Firefighters said the cause of the blaze was under investigation, but they had ruled out arson.

One family member said the cause was believed to have been a faulty light fitting.

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