Firefighters attended a chip pan fire in South Bermondsey yesterday after a mother was stuck on a balcony leaving her daughter inside the flat on her own.
Starting to cook an evening meal, the woman put a pan of oil on the hob and went out onto the balcony to get frozen chips from her freezer.
The door closed behind her and due to a defect with the door handle she was unable to get back into her home.
A caretaker got a ladder and joined her on the balcony. Unable to fix the door it they called the Brigade as smoke started to build up in the flat.
Fire crews broke into the flat just after the mother and caretaker had finally gained access and brought the child to safety.
Firefighters took the pan off of the hob and ventilated the flat. The child was suffering from minor smoke inhalation and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "It's a nightmare scenario being locked out of your flat with your child inside and the flat filling with smoke.
"Thankfully the child only had minor injuries and there was minimal damage to the flat. Firefighters found that there was no battery inside the smoke alarm so they fitted a new one free of charge.
"Everyone should have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home."
The Brigade was called at 1514 and the incident was over at 1558. Firefighters from Peckham, New Cross, Old Kent Road and Deptford fire stations were at the scene.