This is the dramatic moment a heroic passerby rescued a two-year-old boy who was stuck 40ft above the ground – after he toddled onto a hotel ROOF.
Preston Likely, 42, scrambled up a drainpipe to reach the stricken tot after spotting him perched on the top of the pitched roof.
The little boy’s panicked mother had tried to rescue him but became stuck herself as she tried to reach her son.
Incredibly, the boy, known only as Charlie, had scaled a 20ft high ladder which was leaning against a wall before climbing up the steep roof of the Tree Hotel, in Iffley, near Oxford.
Guests were enjoying an evening drink in the beer garden at 5.40pm last Saturday when they spotted Charlie above them.
Preston, who had headed to the £109-per-night hotel to meet friends, dashed to the boy’s rescue.
The dad-of-one scrambled up the front of the building and held onto the struggling boy for 15 minutes before fire crews arrived.
The artist and author, who lives in Oxford, said: “I was about to sit down when I noticed a large crowd of people staring at something.
“I thought it was some sort of gathering.
“Then I looked up and saw the child on the roof tottering about.
“I threw my bag down without thinking and just climbed up and grabbed him. It was instinctive, I didn’t think, I just scrambled up.
“He was wriggling about, and for a two-year-old was very powerful.
“It made it all the more precarious and I really had to squeeze to hold onto the little guy.
“You don’t have time to process it while it’s happening, you just have to act and then think about it later.”
Eyewitness and friend Linsey Denholm, 39, who snapped the dramatic rescue on her mobile phone, said: “I was reading when a woman came in and said there was a small boy on the roof and we should call for help.
“So we went out and saw and it was pretty scary as he was up there and looked like he was in danger.
“Our hearts were in our mouths, every time he moved we were gasping with horror as he could have easily fallen off.
“We started circling the roof so that if he did fall one of us could catch him, and his mother was trying to talk to him to calm him and say that the fire brigade were on their way.
“But she was stuck on the other side of the roof and was becoming increasingly panicked.
“Preston arrived and within a minute he was up on the roof.
“He shimmied up the drainpipe and went up the roof, there were a few scary moments where his foot slipped but he managed to grab the little boy.
“He held on to him until the fire brigade arrived and got all three of them down.
“His parents strapped him into his pushchair straight away and said he was a bit of an adventurer but had never done anything like this before.
“Everyone was just thankful no-one was hurt.”
Hotel manager Namit Julka said the ladder was kept at the back of the hotel so it was away from the public.
He said: “I was behind the bar when the mother came in saying that the child had gone up.
“I went outside to help, came back in and phoned the fire brigade straight away. We are very glad it ended safely.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The brave actions of the member of the public made sure that the child was safe and the fire service could bring everyone down to the ground.”
He added that a hydraulic lift had been used to bring Preston, Charlie and his mum down to safety.