a BABY’S first birthday break ended in terror after a Center Parcs cabin filled with smoke because of a blocked chimney, a mother says.
Edyta Madej, aged 31, and partner Jamie Walls fled the building with one-year-old daughter Ella after waking in the night due to thick smoke. They also say the alarm failed to go off.
The couple, who took Ella to hospital for checks, say the maintenance manager at the Sherwood Forest park said leaves had been found in the chimney.
But Edyta, of Haigh Moor Way, Swallownest, was left fuming when she later received an official letter blaming atmospheric pressure.
She said: “I remember waking up feeling sick, I opened my eyes and I could hardly see because of the smoke. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. Ella was coughing in her sleep. I think we’ve been so lucky.”
Edyta said they bought an easy-burn processed log from the shop which stated it would last two hours.
They lit it at teatime and went to bed at 10pm, before being woken two hours later.
There were no fireplace tools and the impression was of total safety and convenience, she said.
“The letter said there was no debris in the chimney.
“But the day it happened we got a call from a maintenance manager called Kevin saying it was blocked with leaves.”
CENTER Parcs has offered the family a £200 discount on another stay.
A spokeswoman said: “We appreciate this must have been a very upsetting experience and we are sorry for any distress this incident has caused.
“As soon as this situation was brought to our attention, Miss Madej and her family were relocated to alternative accommodation.
“A member of the technical services team checked the flue following the incident, both from the fireplace and from the roof. It was not blocked with leaves or other matter.
“The smoke alarm was tested prior to Miss Madej’s arrival and following the incident and was found to be working.
“Regular checks are made on the safety of our accommodation, including chimney cleaning to recognised standards and twice weekly smoke detector testing.”