Mum praised after 'saving lives' of kids in Congleton fire
A GRATEFUL mother has thanked a brave neighbour who used a ladder to rescue her two young daughters from a house fire.
Eleven-year-old Kiya Hopkins and Nonah Jackson, aged three, are recovering at home after the blaze broke out in Congleton.
The girls, along with their 12-year-old friend Katie Thorpe, were in the bedroom of the Clayton Avenue property, when a fire started in the kitchen.
The house soon filled with black smoke and the girls found themselves trapped upstairs.
Purchase this property and receive £250 towards legal fees !! New on the market with no vendor chain !
Terms: Subject to offer and terms and conditions, contact the office for further information.
Contact: 01782 940925
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
But quick-thinking neighbour Amanda O'Reiley heard the girls' screams and used a ladder to rescue the three.
Mother-of-five Katie Farron, who also lives in Clayton Avenue, has now thanked Amanda for saving her children's lives.
The 28-year-old said: "I am just glad Amanda was there when she was because the children could have been killed. She is amazing.
"The first thing I knew was when a friend knocked on the door telling me the children were trapped.
"It was just sheer panic. I ran round to see Amanda up a ladder pulling them out.
"I couldn't believe it. They had only been in the house for a few minutes.
"Nonah had black smoke all over her face and the others girls were coughing. Nonah was taken straight into the ambulance so I thought she was dead."
The girls were taken to Macclesfield Hospital following the fire, which started at around 2pm on Thursday. Four Staffordshire bull terriers and two cats perished in the blaze.
The children were allowed home yesterday.
Katie said: "Kiya told me that she saw thick black smoke coming up the stairs.
"She told the others to get back into the room and put some towels along the bottom of the door to keep the smoke out, then she opened the window and started shouting. "She was so brave and I am so proud of her."
Amanda, herself a mother-of-two, described how she was at home with her children when she heard screaming.
The 25-year-old said: "I just looked over and could see they were hanging out of the top window with smoke all around them. I phoned the fire brigade first, then ran out.
"By that time one of the other neighbours had got a ladder. So I put it against the wall and just went up it. I grabbed the youngest first, then went back to help the other two.
"I was thinking about smashing the front living room window because I knew there were animals in the house and I wanted to get them out as well."
Cheshire Fire and Rescue service last night confirmed the fire was caused by a tumble dryer.
Station Manager Paul Binyon, who attended the fire, said: "I cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm. There is no doubt that they save lives by giving anyone in a property extra time to escape if a fire breaks out."