Babysitter leaves baby in burning flat

A babysitter left a six-month-old baby in a flat that later caught fire. Was it neglect or sheer bad luck? Find out home safety tips for young children.

Taking care of small children requires extra diligence and a moment’s lapse in attention is unacceptable. The results can be fatal as in the case of a babysitter who left her charge alone in a flat that caught fire.

Sleeping baby was left alone

It was reported that the babysitter, only named as G. Saroja, aged 48, had left six-month-old Meysshvin sleeping in the flat in Butterworth, Penang, because she went to a nearby shop to buy some groceries. According to the police, the fire started just minutes after Saroja went out. The apparent cause of the fire was an oil lamp Saroja had lit just before she stepped out of the flat.

Supermaniam’ to the rescue

Little Meysshvin was lucky to be saved by a heroic neighbour, J.P Supermaniam. The 60-year-old retiree was at home when he heard shouts from his neighbours. Supermaniam rushed out of his home and was taken aback to see a flat on fire, six doors away. Supermaniam said he was flabbergasted to hear a baby's cries coming from within the inferno:

"The whole unit was engulfed in flames up to the ceiling. I knew it was dangerous, but I decided that I must save the baby at all cost."

Supermaniam risked his life to rescue the baby. He discovered Messhvin crying in a cot that was placed under a burning altar, "The baby's clothes were on fire and I doused the flames before asking my son to rush him to the hospital immediately.”

Babysitter detained

Malaysian police arrested Saroja soon after the incident but released her two days later. It is still not known whether she will be charged with negligence.

However, despite receiving burns to almost 70% of his body, Meysshvin is slowly recovering from his ordeal. Meysshvin's mother Ranjeeta Kaur, 28, stated that the condition of her son, who is now warded at the Penang Hospital's paediatric intensive care unit, was improving, with his kidneys and liver getting better.

Home safety tips for children

Basic home safety should not be taken for granted because creating a set of rules is important for your children’s well being. After all, the home should be as secure as possible. Here are three tips to bear in mind:

1. Fire safety
Most house fires are inadvertently started by carelessness. Keep all matches, candles and other flammable items out of the reach of children, and remember to unplug heat-generating appliances such as ovens and irons.

2. Electrical safety
Toddlers can easily stick their fingers into electric sockets and holes. Tie up stray wires and cables because the rubber tubing can get worn away. Cover up any disused sockets and move appliances such as lamps out of the reach of children.

3. Make a list of contact numbers
Write down a list of numbers for the police and fire departments and place the list in a place where it will visible to all household members (such as on the refrigerator door). If your children are old enough to use the phone, you may also want to include the contact numbers of some neighbours and relatives.

 

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore