Dramatic details have emerged of a family's miraculous escape as an inferno tore through their home in the middle of the night.
Hero dad Colin Walker leapt from the window of his burning top-floor flat to catch his children as they escaped the horror blaze in Midlothian early on Sunday morning.
Now Colin's brother Robert has revealed the terrifying moment the family were faced with jumping from the fourth-floor as flames and smoke roared around them, the Daily Record reports.
Robert, 34, said: "Colin said that there was a backdraft in the house as he opened a door and that 'it was like a firework going off in his face' and that he partially lost his sight for a while.
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"As the thick smoke flooded in and consumed the house nobody could see so he just threw himself out the window and the kids followed."
Colin, 32, was at home with partner Michelle Coleman, 37, and four of their five kids – kids Erin, 13, Kaiden, nine, Carly, six, and one-year-old Flynn – when the horror unfolded.
Despite suffering painful injuries after he jumped, quick-thinking Colin beckoned for his brave family to follow as he broke their falls below in a miraculous escape.
The selfless act helped save all of their lives – though the family were left with injuries including lung damage and broken bones.
Robert said: "When my brother had to catch his one-year old son, Flynn, he bounced off my brother and broke his leg.
"My eldest nephew, Kaiden, managed to jump straight away and landed on my brother hitting him with some force.
"Also Kaiden had his little friend staying over who managed to jump out and Colin caught him and he was unhurt."
Robert added: "The eldest girl, Erin, was too scared to jump alone so she jumped with her mum, Michelle. Michelle broke her arm and Erin broke her leg."
The family were sound asleep in the flat on McNeil Terrace in Loanhead at 3.30am on Sunday morning when the fire took hold.
Robert said: "Apparently as they were sleeping they heard a strange noise coming from the hallway and when they opened the bedroom door they saw the flames from the ground to the ceiling."
Hero Colin, a coach of Loanhead Youth Football Club, has now checked himself out of hospital despite his injuries.
Robert said: "Colin has signed himself out of hospital to see the kids. He's been on morphine as he has a lot of internal and external bruising.
"The hospital has told him that in a day or two he is going to be in absolute agony and not gonna be able to walk and he will also have to get realignment treatment.
"I managed to talk to him on the phone and he sounds awful."
After losing all their belongings in the blaze, caring loved ones have rallied round the family of seven in a desperate bid to raise cash to help.
Robert added: "The hardest pill to swallow is that now they do not have a single possession in this world.
"No house, no clothes and all the kids' toys and Christmas presents that they will never get to see are gone. Yet another victim of the 2020 curse."
Anyone wishing to donate can do so via the family's online fundraiser.
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