Rooftop hero describes rescuing baby after child fell 30ft from window
A rooftop hero has spoken of the moment he scrambled on to a ledge to rescue a one-year-old who had fallen 30ft from a window and was at risk of dropping another 20ft to the ground.
Investigations by social services and police are continuing into how the incident occurred, while doctors warned parents to be vigilant when windows are left open during hot weather after seeing a spate of youngsters injured in similar circumstances.
Alanzo Edwards, 52, was walking his 11-year-old stepdaughter home from school in Lower Clapton when he became aware of a commotion outside Downs Court in Amhurst Road on Tuesday last week.
“People were screaming,” he said. “Then I saw a baby on the ledge above the shops. He was laying down, but then rolled over and came over to the edge. Everybody was panicking, shouting ‘get back’ and getting ready to catch him if he fell.”
Alanzo, of Chatsworth Road, raced around the building where he climbed on some bins and used a streetlamp to get on the ledge.
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“I’m not frightened of heights because I do roofing work,” he said. “I ran to grab the baby and he was crying. He was bleeding and I was comforting him saying ‘hush baby, it’s all right, you’re safe now’ and I was saying to God ‘please take care of this baby’. I was up there for about ten minutes, but I was trembling because I was frightened for the baby.
“It was lucky he didn’t die. Then his mother came outside screaming and said she’d been in the toilet when it happened.”
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A crowd had gathered and an onlooker went to get a ladder, while another bystander climbed up to help bring the child down to safety. An ambulance took the boy to hospital and police took statements from witnesses.
Some residents at the block, such as Doris Waya who lives on the fourth floor, criticised Newlon Housing Trust - the charitable housing association that manages the building - claiming there are no safety locks on the windows.
But a trust spokeswoman denied this claim, saying all flats are fitted with window safety restrictors that don’t allow windows to open more than 100mm.
“It has to be possible for them to be manually released but, for the window to fully open, the restrictor would have to be disengaged,” she added.
In neighbouring borough Tower Hamlets last week, the Barts Health NHS Trust revealed four children in 24 hours were admitted to the Royal London Hospital after falls, and doctors warned parents and carers to keep children away from open windows.