Stuck teenager, trapped cat and locked-in toddler – Sunderland firefighters’ crazy night of rescues

Backhouse Park
Backhouse Park
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A teenager stuck in a swing, a toddler locked in a car and a cat trapped in a wheel arch ... it was all in a night’s work for Sunderland firefighters!

Crews from Sunderland Central Fire Station had a shift to remember when they were called to the three rescues in just over two hours on Wednesday.

Backhouse Park

Backhouse Park

First up was a teenager who had become trapped in a child’s swing in Backhouse Park, Ashbrooke, crew manager Ian Davison told the Echo.

Fire crews attended the scene at 6.45pm and were able to lift the 14-year-old girl, to release her from the swing, where she had been stuck for 10 minutes. She was unhurt.

Then, at 8.50pm the emergency services received a call from a frantic dad whose two-year-old girl had accidentally locked herself in the family car.

Firefighters rushed to the Tesco Extra carpark, on Roker Retail Park, where the girl had been trapped for 20 minutes until they could break one of the windows to free her. The toddler’s father had just done a supermarket shop and had put his daughter in the vehicle, as he was placing his groceries in the boot of the car.

However, the youngster grabbed the key and locked the doors.

Mr Davison said: “The child had the key in her hand and locked herself in while her father was loading the shopping into the car.

“We broke one of the windows to gain access.”

“The toddler was unhurt.”

Soon after, at 9.10pm, the same crew, along with colleagues from Marley Park fire station, were called a short distance away, to Warwick Street, Monkwearmouth.

Mr Davison said: “We were immediately called round the corner to Warwick Street, off Newcastle Road, where a cat was stuck between the wheel and the springs of a car.”

The very lucky cat was pulled from the bodywork of the vehicle with all of its nine lives intact.

The driver had heard what appeared to be a meowing sound and stopped the car immediately to investigate.

He called the fire brigade when he discovered the feline.

“The owner of the car had driven just a couple of yards when he felt something and heard a cat meowing,” Mr Davison said. “He stopped immediately and this is probably what saved it.”

The mischievous moggy was found between the wheel and the suspension springs.

Mr Davison added: “We took the wheel off and freed the cat. It appeared unhurt.”

Crews from other stations were also kept busy as they dealt with more conventional jobs through the night.

Firefighters from Washington attended what turned out to be a false alarm at a commercial premises in Washington.

The same crew later investigated a fire alarm in Gateshead. Washington crews also attended a report of a fire in the Donwell area, which turned out to be controlled burning.