A family rescued their beloved pet dogs from an horrific house blaze but left their grandson asleep upstairs – after they FORGOT about him.
Guilt-ridden grandmother Mandy Hands, 45, saved her four greyhounds from the fire leaving 11-year-old Curtis in bed.
Luckily firefighters managed to find the lad in the inferno and scrambled Curtis through his bedroom window and carry him down a ladder to safety.
Housewife Mandy admitted she was struggling to get over her guilt of leaving her grandson in the fire.
She sobbed: ”I can’t get over the fact I left my grandson in bed.
”He’s visiting from Portsmouth and I was panicking so much trying to get everyone out that I forgot he was in here. I never even checked on him.”
Fire broke out at Mandy’s terraced home in Woodway Park, Coventry, shortly after 7.20am on Monday.
Mandy’s eldest daughter Kerry, 28, was visiting her family with Curtis from their home in Portsmouth when the blaze started.
A faulty toaster is believed to have started the fire after Mandy’s husband Craig, 41, a transport manager, used it to make his breakfast.
It is believed the toaster overheated after the pop-up mechanism failed after he and his eldest son, also called Craig, 19, left for work.
Mandy woke up when she noticed smoke in her bedroom and managed to get her son Ashley, 16, and the family’s dogs to safety.
She said: ”I don’t knew what it was but I just woke up quickly. The room was full of grey smoke and I just panicked. I was in a daze.
”I ran downstairs where the smoke was thicker and saw the fire in the kitchen.
”Everything was dusty and the smoke was stinging. It was horrible. It’s devastating to see the damage, absolutely devastating.”
It was only when Mandy was outside did she remember Curtis was still inside the blazing house.
She said: ”It was only when we were outside and someone said ‘is there anyone else in there?’ that I remembered him, but on-one could get back in.
”I stood outside shouting up at the bedroom window and that was when the fire engines arrived.”
Six firefighters with breathing apparatus searched the house and finally found Curtis asleep in his bed and managed to carry him to safety.
The family were all taken to Coventry’s University Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
It emerged the family did have a fire alarm but the batteries had run out.
Husband Craig said: ”There was a smoke alarm but the battery had run out and I hadn’t replaced it. You don’t think it will happen to you.
”It’s upsetting but not as upsetting as what could have happened. There were all in bed but is she had not been woken up by the smoke I could have lost them all.”
Lee McDonald, watch commander at Binley Fire Station, said the family were ”lucky to be alive”.
He said: ”One of the lads located him in the back bedroom. He was asleep so was a bit shocked to see two firemen standing there.
”It was too hot to bring him down the stairs so we took him out of the window and down a ladder. They are all very lucky to be alive.”