St Albans firefighters race to rescue of Hitchin baby accidentally locked inside dad's car
PUBLISHED: 08:28 30 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:54 30 November 2016
St Albans firefighters rushed to the rescue of an 11-month-old baby from Hitchin on Friday after she was accidentally locked inside her dad’s car.
The Hitchin dad, picking his two children up from visiting family in St Albans, put the keys to his Nissan on the inside of the door while fastening his baby girl into her car seat – but somehow locked the car while doing so, a mistake he only realised after closing the door.
“My first thought was just, ‘Oh my God, what have I done,” he said. “Luckily she was tied in and I’d given her a bottle, so she was quite calm.
“I remembered reading about a similar case where firefighters had rescued a baby locked in a car, so I called them on 999. Then I told my wife what I’d just done – you can imagine her reaction!”
A St Albans engine reached the scene at Clarence Park within minutes and, with mum and dad looking on, set to work to retrieve the keys from next to the baby.
“My Nissan has a little well by the handle of each door, and fortunately I’d left the keys in there,” the baby’s father said.
“That meant the firemen were able to use a pump and plastic wedges to get the top of the door slightly ajar, then get a wire hanger down there to fish them out.
“There was a heart-stopping split second when he had them on the hook and my daughter reached to try to grab them – but he was able to pull them up and out, and then we opened the door.”
The grateful dad offered to buy the crew a round of drinks as a token of gratitude, but they wouldn’t take them.
“I was just chuffed to bits,” he said. “Not only was my daughter OK despite my stupidity, as an added bonus they hadn’t had to damage the car to rescue her, so we could drive straight home.
“Those firefighters really did a great job, I can’t speak highly enough of them. We will always be grateful – and now I have a classic story to tell on my little girl’s wedding day.”