Mum rescues three children from blaze at her Bentilee home
A FRANTIC mother carried her three young children to safety as they escaped their burning home in the middle of the night.
Brave Nicola Howell was woken up by a fire alarm to find her rented Bentilee home filling up with smoke yesterday morning.
The single mother ran downstairs to discover her kitchen in flames at 3.55am.
The 28-year-old then called 999 and carried her two sleeping sons and baby daughter to safety.
****Best Deals**** Van Insurance for 17-24 Yr Old Drivers - Contact Insure365 on 01782 898188 for a quotation, Free Legal Protection Included Valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Tuesday, June 25 2013
Nicola and her children – 10-year-old Joshua, Logan, aged four, and Lacey, aged two – were treated at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire before being allowed home later in the morning.
Initial investigations have found the fire started accidentally in the kitchen.
Nicola said: "I woke up because of the alarm going off and the room was filled with thick smoke. It was awful. I ran down to the kitchen to see how bad it was and there were flames everywhere.
"My two Westie dogs were in there so I opened the back door and they bolted out.
"I grabbed a phone and rang 999 but my biggest concern was getting the kids out.
"The operator kept asking me for more details but I told them I had to go and get my children out.
"I went in and grabbed them from their bunk beds. There wasn't enough time to make them understand what was going on. I came running out of the front door with my sons under each arm and my baby in my hands."
Fire crews from Hanley and Longton spent more than an hour at the fire in Hamner Green.
Nicola's burning cooker was thrown out into the back garden.
Nicola added: "I was stood there in my pyjamas, with nothing on my feet, and black all around my eyes and nose.
"It wasn't until a fireman brought me some slippers that I even noticed what state I was in. I just kept thinking about the children's rooms being above the kitchen and with the ceiling on fire down there the floor could have collapsed."
Nicola last used her gas cooker and grill at 12.30am before going to bed. And she remains convinced that the appliance was switched off when she went to bed.
Nicola's sister Ami-Jean Lindsay, aged 16, of Beverley Drive, Bentilee, said: "As soon as I heard about the fire I came straight round.
"I found Nicola and gave her a big hug.
"She did so well getting everyone out of the house.
"I am so proud of her."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is grateful working smoke alarms were fitted in the property.
Station Manager Mark Wilson said: "This incident highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms as the early warning to the fire meant that the woman managed to get herself and her three children out of the property safely.