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Birmingham firefighter leaves blaze for birth of first child

A firefighter «on the hose» at a blaze was released from duty after his wife went into labour early.

Toshwa Dennis, 38, was at a scrapheap fire in Highgate, Birmingham, on Saturday when the call came.

Hearing the news made Mr Dennis «kind of freeze up», but he managed to make it to hospital in time to witness the birth of Savannah.

His daughter, who weighed 6lbs 10oz (3kg), and her mum Stacy, 38, are «doing well», he said.

The blaze was «pretty developed» when he «put the hose down» late in the afternoon as a colleague was calling him over.

«I ran over to him. I was thinking he was calling me for something to do with the job and he said we got a phone call from control — she’s gone into labour and she’s on the way to hospital.

«I didn’t know what to do… when you’re on the job, your mind is just focused. After I got my wits back, it was like I got back into mode… [I would] get myself to hospital.»

The firefighter said he went back to Highgate fire station before driving himself to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Savannah, who was due on 4 September, was born at 19:40 BST.

Mr Dennis, from Sutton Coldfield, said he was «very grateful» and appreciated the service’s efforts.

He said it was only a week ago that a colleague suggested he should give fire control’s number to his wife.

«If he hadn’t said that, I wouldn’t have made it.»

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