Unit fire
Firefighters attempt to extinguish flames from a fire in a building in Lausanne, Switzerland September 26, 2009. Reuters/Valentin Flauraud/File Photo

The baby who had to be thrown from a burning building in New South Wales on Tuesday morning was caught by a pair of neighbours. The incident occurred after a fire erupted in a block of flats on Brice St Blacktown. A fire erupted in the unit below the second floor flat of Luke Hayes, Kristy Morton and their baby daughter, Nevaeh.

Hayes said he was in bed when he heard someone yell “fire.” Smoke had engulfed the unit. “I thought I was going to die,” he said. He tried opening the door but it was hot enough to touch. The smoke had been filled in the stairway.

Neighbour Tony Finn was standing on the street below the building and saw the flames. He ran back and met another neighbour, Charlie. The duo took a ladder and a blanket and positioned themselves below the balconies.

Morton said she was “freaking out, I was so scared.” She added, “I just looked down and dropped her."

"I was a bit shaky because I was doubting myself, whether I could catch her or not," Finn said, as reported by AAP (via Yahoo 7). He and Charlie stretched the blanket between them to catch the seven and a half-month-old Nevaeh. After dropping her child over the side of the balcony to safety, Morton and Hayes climbed down the ladder.

Finn said he and Charlie “caught [Nevaeh] like a football, with our arms out and then hauled her back in.” He added, “She was smiling when she landed but I’m still a little nervous, still a bit shaky.”

Eight people suffering from smoke inhalation were treated at the scene. Four of them were transported to the Blacktown Hospital. Charlie was taken to the hospital after he rushed upstairs to help other residents out of the building.

While Morton and Hayes have not assessed the damage yet, they have been put up by the Housing Department staff at the Blacktown Travelodge. The possible cause of the fire is being investigated.

“It was extraordinary, but people do extraordinary things,” Fire and Rescue’s Inspector Graham Kingsland. Meanwhile, Finn said he only did what needed to be done in the situation. "I wouldn’t be called a hero, anyone in the same situation would have done the same thing," he said.

According to initial inquiries, the fire is suggested to be accidental. An investigation into the incident is being conducted.