When their house caught fire the only option for Craig Jackson was to jump out of a first floor window and lead his family to safety. The quick thinking Dad leapt from the bedroom window first with no regard for his own safety. As the flames engulfed the staircase, preventing any possible escape route, Mr Jackson knew he had to do something drastic. After miraculously landing safely he dragged a trampoline under the window so the rest of his family could also escape.
His wife Natasha, and children Benjamin, six, Peyton, five, and one-year-old Quinn took a leap of faith and used the trampoline to break their fall. Peyton suffered extensive bruising but luckily there were no broken bones.
Mr Jackson explains his horror as the blaze took hold of his home – “I could see the smoke coming up the stairs and into the room and took it upon myself to jump out of the window.
“I don’t regret it at all. It could have been a lot worse if I hadn’t.”
It was the smoke alarms that initially alerted the Jackson’s to the blaze, which is thought to have been started by an electrical fault underneath the stairs.
“The night was just a blur. My wife woke me up after hearing the smoke alarms as I am a heavy sleeper and we got all the children into our bedroom,” said hero of the hour, Mr Jackson.
“I rang the emergency services, who were telling me to stay in the room and put something under the door to stop the smoke, but it was coming under the door and getting into my chest and throat.
“I just took it upon myself to jump out the window. With all the adrenaline I didn’t realise how high it was.”
Luckily Mr Jackson’s quick thinking and the waiting trampoline meant the family were discharged from Burton’s Queen’s Hospital with nothing more than cuts and bruises.
The 31-year-old said: “It is just a relief. I have mixed feelings about it because I am just happy we have all survived. We could have died if we didn’t have the smoke alarms, but I am also having to rely on other people.
“Everything is destroyed — clothes, toys, photos. Any clothes we did salvage we have had to throw away as they are intoxicated with smoke and could now contain lethal toxins.”
Sadly, the fire caused widespread damage to the ground floor and the whole house suffered extensive smoke damage. It could be months before their house is habitable again. But thanks to Mr Jacksons bravery and the cleverly placed trampoline it was just their material possessions that suffered and the family live to tell the tale.
A little safety warning: Of course this is an extreme case and we do not recommend anyone at home tries jumping out of their window and onto a trampoline.