Neighbours have been praised for helping rescue a two-day-old baby and toddler whose mother threw them down from the second-storey window after their Sydney unit caught fire.
The fire started in the Lakemba unit when the 27-year-old woman was cooking in her kitchen about 9.30pm on Thursday, police said.
Senior Constable Jamie Wallace told AAP the woman was unable to get out the front door because of the fire so she grabbed her newborn boy and her two-year-old and rushed to a window.
She dropped the two children out the window where neighbours had placed mattresses and were holding up a sheet to catch them, Adam Dewberry from Fire & Rescue NSW told AAP on Friday.
The mother was sitting on the windowsill, surrounded by black smoke and contemplating whether she should also make the five-metre jump when fire trucks turned up, he said.
Mr Dewberry praised the neighbours for reassuring the mother that emergency services were on their way.
“There’s no doubt she would have suffered pretty serious injuries jumping down a five or six-metre fall,” he said.
A group of firefighters went inside to extinguish the fire while another crew sprayed water on the mother from the street before rescuing her by ladder.
The children were uninjured and the woman was taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation and cuts to her feet.
She was discharged in the early hours of Friday, a NSW Health spokeswoman told AAP.
Firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of the fire that started in the kitchen, but Mr Dewberry said two LPG gas cylinders had been found in the house.
“They weren’t the cause of the fire. However, they did contribute to the intensity of the fire,” he said.
“They’re not safe to have inside.”
The fire spread to other units and about 50 people were evacuated from the 12-unit block.
A 19-year-old woman was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, while a 65-year-old man, who also suffered smoke inhalation, was taken to hospital for further treatment.