11 Mar 2016

Mum drops children out window to safety

12:47 pm on 11 March 2016

A woman, 27, has thrown her newborn and toddler out a window to a crowd with sheets and mattresses to protect them from a blaze in a second-storey apartment in Sydney.

A screengrab of the window shows where the woman dropped her children to a group of people waiting with sheets and mattresses.

A screengrab of the window shows where the woman dropped her children to a group of people waiting with sheets and mattresses. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

The blaze started in the kitchen of the second-storey unit on Wangee Road about 9:30pm on Thursday and quickly spread to surrounding units in the building, police said.

The woman 27, was taken to St George Hospital with cuts to her feet and smoke inhalation.

About 50 people were evacuated from the complex and a 65-year-old man was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Dalila Awachi, who lives next door to the unit block, said she and her husband were watching television when they heard something explode.

"My husband went there and asked her to stay until we bring some mattresses and some sheets so she can throw the babies, then we called the ambulance," Mrs Awachi said.

"Other guys came to hold the sheets on all sides and they put the mattress down [on the ground], so the kids can't be injured," she said.

Ms Awachi said several mattresses were put underneath the sheet, so the children could have a soft landing, as the mother dropped them down from about six metres above.

"[The mother] was brave. She was very scared, she only came back from the hospital from having her baby yesterday, the baby is two days old," she said.

"She even broke the window to get out."

Ms Awachi said the situation could have been much worse if there had been fewer people to help.

"She was clever too, she [dropped] the baby on the side of the sheet," she said.

A firefighter at the scene later said crews found the woman sitting on the window sill when they arrived.

"On arrival crews found the second-floor unit was well engulfed in fire, they also located a lady, who was sitting on the edge of the window sill," he said.

"Firefighters immediately started attacking the fire internally."

"They also set up an extension ladder and rescued the woman from the window sill."

Fire and Rescue New South Wales Superintendent Adam Dewberry said investigators would return to the scene today.

"The apartment has been severely damaged by fire, there's also been some damage to the unit above and there's been some water damage to adjoining units and common areas within the complex.

"The occupants, where it was safe, were allowed to return to the units last night. The fire-affected unit and the unit above are still isolated from the residents returning."

Officers said the children were not injured.

Police said they were not treating the fire as suspicious.