Mother rescued during firefighters’ last shift attacks station closures
17:04 10 January 2014
A young mother of two speaks to the Ham&High following her family’s dramatic rescue yesterday morning after a fire broke out in a neighbouring flat.
Hours before they were turfed out of their fire station, firefighters from Belsize were battling a fourth floor flat blaze in Oval Road, Camden Town.
The 59-year-old flat owner was rescued and rushed to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
But a neighbouring young family - including a two-year-old and a three-year-old - was also trapped by a fire that was said to be 20 minutes away from engulfing their home.
“I woke up to the sound of my two-year-old crying and to this acrid stench,” said 27-year-old mother of two, Lisa Kelliher.
“I looked out my spyhole and the hallway was pitch black with smoke.
“I was petrified - so scared that we wouldn’t be able to get out and my kids and I would be killed.
“But I could just about make out some figures with masks moving through the darkness, so I shouted and banged as loud as I could for help.
“I was panicking, scared for my kids - me legs were like jelly.
“Then I heard the firefighters respond. They assured me they’d get us out, and take us to safety.
“And they did. They were amazing. I just can’t thank them enough - they were true life-savers.
“But thank God it didn’t happen the following week.
“This was a “four pump” emergency that needed help from four stations, and two of them are now closed down.
“If it had happened a week later I’m not sure me or my kids would be here today.
“I don’t know how Boris Johnson can live with himself cutting fire services like he has.
“The next family won’t be so lucky and people will die. Is that really worth the money saved?”