Mum saves kids from flat fire as freezer explodes

Callie Tyler with her children Kadie and Cobie
Callie Tyler with her children Kadie and Cobie
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A HERO mum has spoken of the terrifying moment she rescued her children from a burning flat after her freezer exploded.

Callie Tyler, from Muirhouse, was jolted awake at 4.20am to find her top-floor two-bedroom flat in Muirhouse Park filled with thick smoke and her fire alarm going off.

Springing into action after catching sight of orange flames lapping at her fridge-freezer in the kitchen, the 23-year-old rushed towards the blaze to save daughter Kadie from her bedroom next door, where the three-year-old lay fast asleep.

And just moments after carrying the sleeping girl out the room, the freezer exploded with a loud bang and Kadie’s bedroom door caught alight.

Grabbing one-year-old son Cobie, the family made their way outside and watched as smoke billowed from the windows of the flat that had been their home for the past two years.

The young mum, who is now staying with her mother at nearby West Pilton Park, said: “The alarm went off at 4.20am. I could clearly see the flames – I have a sofa bed in the living room so the kids get a room each.

“I could see the orange flames coming out of the fridge and the whole house was filled with smoke.

“I got up immediately and got my wee girl out of her room, and just as I rushed back past the freezer it exploded and set her door on fire. As soon as I got Kadie out, there was a huge bang.”

She added: “It’s lucky we got out – especially for my daughter. If I had panicked I would never have got her out in time. I was calm until we got outside and I realised how bad it was – I could see smoke coming out.”

The mum-of-two lost everything in the blaze two weeks ago, which killed one of her four cats, but said family, friends and strangers from the local community and beyond had rallied round to help.

She said: “I didn’t have contents insurance so I’ve lost everything. One of my neighbours took me in as the firemen arrived. They rescued three out of my four cats from the flames – they brought them back to life with miniature oxygen masks.

“It ended up needing three fire engines, and they shut the street. The fridge-freezer was just under two years old – and it’s the one thing you can’t unplug at night for safety.

“I just want to thank the firemen and my whole family – my mum, sisters and stepdad – and just so many strangers that have turned up with clothes, cat food and toys.

“It’s just amazing – it kind of restores your faith in humanity. The fire happened just after Christmas, so the kids lost everything.”

Sister Ellie Tyler, 19, said: “If Callie hadn’t acted when she did, it could have been a lot worse. She’s pretty brave.”

A spokeswoman for the fire service confirmed they had been called out to the blaze on January 21. She said: “Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a high-pressure hose reel to extinguish a small fire in the kitchen.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com