Baby escapes house fire in bucket dropped from 3rd floor

By Viet An   August 29, 2023 | 11:46 pm PT
A Hanoi woman saved her six-month-old grandchild when her house caught fire by putting the baby into a bucket and dropping it down using ropes.

When Nguyen Thi Minh was staying at home with her husband, daughter-in-law and grandchild on Tuesday morning, she detected a burning smell.

As Minh came to check, she realized that fire had engulfed the first floor of their four-story tube house in an alley of Nguyen Ngoc Vu Street in Cau Giay District.

At that time, Minh, her daughter-in-law and the baby, who is nearly six months old, were staying in a room on the house's third floor.

Minh rushed to the balcony, screaming out for help from her neighbors.

The four-floor tube house where the fire took place on August 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet An

A four-floor tube house in Hanoi that caught fire on Aug. 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Viet An

Then she returned back to the room, put the baby into a polyethylene bucket, attached its handle into a rope and very slowly, dropped the bucket down.

"Please help the baby. She's in the bucket," she shouted out to inform others.

After the baby has been saved, Minh's husband used a ladder for the three adults to climb from the fourth floor of the house onto the balcony of a building next door.

Minh said normally there are only her and her husband at home but recently, her son and daughter-in-law usually visited them along with their baby.

Being aware of fire threats, they do not shield up the house's balconies.

Minh said her family does not use the house's first floor but leases it out to a hair salon.

"My husband and I usually use the robes and the bucket to pull up heavy groceries as we're old and do not want to climb the stairs carrying them along," she said, adding that she has never thought one day those items could save their granddaughter.

The bucket where the baby was put into to escape the fire. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh

The bucket where a six-month-old baby was put into to escape a house fire in Hanoi on Aug. 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh

A neighbor named Kien said when the fire was first detected, the house's first floor was still closed by a rolling door.

He and three other neighbors must use a crowbar to break it.

"When the door was partly lifted, we saw fire at the room inside so we used extinguishers to kill the fire."

Firefighters arrived shortly after that and put off the fire.

No one was hurt in the accident.

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