Claudia Winkleman has spoken for the first time about the terrible accident that happened to daughter Matilda Martha on Halloween 2014. The 8-year-old was out trick or treating with her mum and several friends when the outfit she was wearing went up in flames — causing severe burns on her leg.
“It was like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and they come back. It was really fast, it was fast, it wasn’t fire like I’d seen.”
The incident occurred after the outfit Matilda was wearing — a witch outfit with a hat, cape, skirt and tights — brushed past an open flame and was instantly set alight. It was only thanks to the quick actions of Claudia’s neighbour Jamie Poulton who “picked her up and lifted her over the children, got her on the pavement and tried to put her out,” that her injuries weren’t more severe and stopped the fire spreading towards her friends. He also suffered second-degree burns to his hand.
“I was talking to somebody and then I heard her shout and she was on fire. It feels like she was on fire for hours, but the surgeon said it was probably just seconds. She went up is the only way I know how to describe it – it was a spark and she screamed out for me.”
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Now the 43-year-old wants other parents to be more aware of what fancy dress costumes they buy and urges them to stay away from the cheap supermarket ones.
“I would like parents on Halloween just to think about what they’re going to put their kids in because I didn’t, and it cost us.
It’s life-changing, but not life-defining. It was definitely life-changing for me. I can’t remember life before it. I wish I had been dressed as the witch is mainly all I wish, that it had happened to me. She went up and I don’t want that to happen to another child.”
She and husband Kris Thykier are also parents to sons Jake, 11, and Arthur, 3.
You can watch Claudia’s interview on Watchdog tonight on BBC 1 at 8pm.
Source: Daily Mail Photo credit: Wenn