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Hero fireman describes saving baby from Rowley Regis arson blaze
8:00am Tuesday 6th August 2013 in News
A HERO fireman has described to a jury how he battled his way through thick smoke to rescue a 13-month-old baby girl from a burning house in Rowley Regis after an arson attack by a spurned lover.
Nathan Carter who is stationed in Oldbury said he went into the property in Haden Walk with a colleague after being told by a neighbour the baby was trapped in a bedroom.
"It was heavily smoke logged," the fireman told Wolverhampton Crown Court adding that the blaze was quickly extinguished by his colleague.
He said: "I came across the stairs.
"I couldn't see anything. I ran up the stairs and I started searching and I came across the cot very quickly."
He said the toddler had a lot of black soot around her nose and mouth and she had clearly breathed in a great deal of smoke as the house burned.
"I cradled her in my arms and shouted out 'Casualty' By that time the front door of the house had been smashed through.
“I then handed over the baby to a senior officer and he ran off to resuscitate the child."
The fire had been started by 42-year-old Damion Sheldon, the court has been told, who, it is claimed, poured petrol over the head of his former lover before turning her into a "fireball."
Sheldon of Russells Hall Road, Dudley has denied attempting to murder Louise Pilkington and causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.
But father of one who works as a cable layer has admitted arson and being reckless as to whether the life of her baby girl was endangered.
Three of Miss Pilkington's neighbours told police in statements how they tried to smash their way into the terraced house only to be beaten back by flames and smoke.
A neighbour said he saw Miss Pilkington was on fire and as he threw a bucket of water over her he heard her skin "sizzle" while another neighbour told the jury he heard the baby screaming after managing to smash the bedroom window with a sledgehammer.
He added: "There was a lot of smoke, I could feel the heat. It was like being blindfolded. I couldn't even see my arm. I could not see the baby but I heard her screaming. The heat was unbearable."
The trial of Sheldon, a divorcee who, it is alleged, made his murder bid because he could not cope with Miss Pilkington ending their nine month relationship is continuing.
The trial continues.
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