A TERRIFIED nine-year-old boy and his mum were just ‘minutes’ away from death after arsonists set fire to their South Yorkshire home.
The fire service operator who took the mother’s 999 call gave vital lifesaving advice to the 33-year-old, named by neighbours as Jane Chapman, who was trapped with her son Matthew in an upstairs bedroom of their home on Ash Grove, Kiveton Park.
They told the panicking mum to put pillows and towels under the door as flames ripped through her home early yesterday.
Shocked neighbours said they were awoken in the early hours by Jane shouting for help from her young son’s bedroom after the blaze trapped the pair in their home. A thick plume of black smoke billowed out into the quiet cul-de-sac.
Collette Stubley, who lives next-door-but-one, said: “I was laying in bed with the window open and I smelt smoke, then I heard her shouting, ‘I can’t get out’. All I could see was smoke everywhere.
“I went to the front door and I could see the flames right through the letterbox. There was no way we could have got in. We had to come away from it because we were coughing so much.”
Firefighters rescued Jane and Matthew from an upstairs bedroom after arriving at the scene. Paramedics treated them for smoke inhalation after they were plucked from the burning building.
Collette said: “I was sitting on the ground with Matthew on my knee giving him oxygen, getting him a blanket. I think they were both in total shock.”
The crews who carried the pair to safety said the fumes were so thick the blaze would have been fatal in just a few more minutes.
The pair were taken to the Northern General Hospital and are now recovering following their frightening ordeal.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing, but it is believed to have been started deliberately on the ground floor of the two-storey property before spreading upstairs.
Crime scene investigators combed the scene for clues at the smoke-damaged home yesterday.
Shards of broken glass and blackened windows were visible at the back of the property.
South Yorkshire Police confirmed they were treating the case as suspected arson.
Watch manager Mark Jones, from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said the mum was alerted to the blaze when her smoke alarm sounded.
“The lady was woken by her smoke alarm but after going to get her son from another bedroom they realised they were trapped because the smoke was coming up the stairs,” he said.
A fire service spokesman added the woman called 999 after getting her son.
“At that point they were both quite distressed, so the control room operator gave them guidance on what to do,” he said.
“The woman said the exit was blocked so the operator told her to stay where they were, put a pillow and towels at the bottom of the door to stop smoke coming in, and wait to be rescued.”
Two crews from Mosborough and Aston stations attended the scene and stayed until 3.50am.
Firefighters used a ladder to bring the mother and child down to safety from the bedroom window.