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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 December 2005, 14:08 GMT
Baby thrown from blazing house
Katie Rogers with Ashley, left, and Brandon
Katie Rogers and her sons Ashley (left) and baby Brandon
Ex-rugby player Mike Webber made the catch of his life - saving a baby thrown from the window of a burning house.

The former Newport Saracens prop persuaded his neighbour to drop her baby from the first floor into his hands when her house in Newport, south Wales, caught fire.

Then he broke open the front door and put out the fire.

Mr Webber denied he was a hero, saying anyone would have done the same.

I cupped my hands like I would with a ball and he just came into my hands
Rescuer Mike Webber

Nine-month-old baby Brandon and his mother, Katie Rogers, 19, were treated for smoke inhalation along with her elder son Ashley, two, her mother Lesley and her sister Rachel, 17.

Mr Webber, 38, of Barrack Hill, Newport, was walking down the road from his home to get a morning paper when he heard screams.

He told BBC Wales: "I thought it didn't sound right that time of the morning. I looked back up at where I lived.

"I could see smoke quite clearly in the air because it was a nice clear morning.

Mike Webber
Mike Webber caught the baby dropped from the first floor

"I ran back up and the lady in question was dangling her baby out of the window.

"I managed to persuade her after a few minutes to let him go and I guaranteed that I would catch him."

Mr Webber thinks his rugby-playing experiences helped him catch Brandon safely, adding: "I cupped my hands like I would with a ball and he just came into my hands."

Once Brandon was safely delivered to another neighbour, Mr Webber broke open the front door using his shoulder and raced upstairs to help get others out.

"I heard a shout saying everybody had got out. I went back downstairs and put out the fire," he explained, adding he believed the fire had started when a Christmas decoration melted and dripped onto a settee.

Mr Webber needed oxygen after suffering smoke inhalation, but said in the midst of the action, his only thought was to get the children out safely.

"I don't think it was brave or heroic," he said. "It was the fact there were children in there. I imagine there's a million people who'd probably have done the same thing.

"I'm just pleased that the children are safe."

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