Five-year-old Havant girl praised for saving her family from house fire

FAMILY From left, Tiannah Chappell, mum Tara, and sisters Lilly-Mai and Carly. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122682-167)
FAMILY From left, Tiannah Chappell, mum Tara, and sisters Lilly-Mai and Carly. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122682-167)

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LITTLE Tiannah Chappell has been hailed a hero after saving her mum and sisters when a fire started in their home.

The five-year-old showed wisdom and courage beyond her years when a fire broke out in the kitchen.

The youngster has a serious disability called Erb’s Palsy, which means she has no movement in her left arm.

But she sprung into action when she awoke to a smoke alarm sounding at the house in Holybourne Road, Leigh Park. She managed to open a locked stairgate and wake her mum Tara who was struggling to rise because of medication she takes for Crohn’s disease.

Tiannah then led her two-year-old sister Lilly-Mai – who was staying in her mum’s room – into her bedroom where her other sister Carly, three, was sleeping.

Keeping calm, she gave the pair teddy bears and continued to alert her mum to the danger.

Tara, 22, who is pregnant, said: ‘She came into me and managed to open the gate, bless her. I don’t know she has done it. She came in and called me. I said no, no.

‘I sleep by the bedroom window and I thought the beeping was coming from outside.’

After Tiannah’s repeated efforts to alert her mum, Tara led her children downstairs and was confronted by smoke coming under the door of the kitchen.

Panicking, she rang her parents, Sarah and Paul Fry, who live nearby and rushed to the house at 7.15am on Monday.

They found a tea towel smouldering next to a kettle and the kitchen worktop on fire. Paul, 54, a maintenance officer who has had fire training, put out the blaze using a wet towel.

The family said Tiannah’s quick thinking prevented a serious fire.

Before the school holidays, the fire brigade visited Warren Park Primary School and told the children what to do if they heard a fire alarm.

Tara said: ‘I can’t believe what she’s done from what she’s practised at school. It’s amazing.

‘I’m so proud of her. She’s my little hero. If it wasn’t for her, we might not be here.’

Tiannah said: ‘I wanted mummy but she was not there. I did not want them to get burned in the fire.’

Sarah, 45, of Tyrrel Lawn, said: ‘It’s fantastic. I am just so proud.

‘Even though she is disabled, she managed to get out of the stair gate. She’s so kind.’