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Shortlands house fire: Family speak of terrifying ordeal
A Shortlands family narrowly survived a terrifying house fire when they were dramatically rescued from a first floor window by firefighters.
At 11.45pm on Sunday night, Anna Lewis-Brady and husband, Ceri, were woken by the sound of a smoke alarm in their Bromley Grove home.
A fire had started downstairs, possibly by a faulty dishwasher, and heavy smoke was spreading from the kitchen into the stairway.
The couple, their daughter Chloe and dog, Ruby, were left trapped upstairs.
Mrs Lewis-Brady, 45, said: "We were in bed for about an hour and then we heard the bleeping.
"Ceri said 'what's that noise'. He said 'I can smell smoke'.
"He went down to the bottom of the stairs. He opened the kitchen door and was just engulfed in fumes.
"Smoke was billowing out. He couldn't breath."
The family, unable to get out of the house, ran to the lounge on the first floor, stuffed bedding under the door and called the fire brigade.
The fire is believed to have been caused by this dishwasher
Mrs Lewis-Brady said: "My daughter was sitting on the window ledge holding our dog.
"The fire service were fantastic. They came within about five minutes.
"They smashed the front door in but couldn't get to us.
"They put up ladders to the first floor and helped my daughter and the dog down from the window. Then they helped me down and then my husband.
"Downstairs is quite a big area and everything had been melted.
"We were pretty shaken.
"We were covered in soot and felt sick. A lot of plastic had burned so the fumes from the fire were very toxic."
Denise Malkin, 45, who lives opposite, added: "I heard the sirens and looked out of the window.
"I saw two fire engines. I heard windows being smashed and I saw the family being helped out of the window.
"I could smell the smoke. I could see the smoke.
"They were there for around two hours."
The house in Bromley Grove
Crew Manager Bob Davis, who was at the scene, said: "There was heavy smoke in the house and we quickly pitched a ladder up to the bedroom and rescued a man and two women.
"They were suffering from a small amount of smoke inhalation and were treated by London Ambulance Service crews.
"It was fantastic team work between our 999 control officers and firefighters but the real hero was the working smoke alarm which woke the family and helped save their lives.
"It's vital that everyone has at least one working smoke alarm and test it regularly."
The fire was under control at 12.38am. Fire crews from Bromley and Beckenham fire stations attended the scene.
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