An Ayr man saved a woman and her two children from a fire at their home in the town after hearing a boy crying hysterically that he thought his mum was dead.

The neighbour saved the children from the blaze at an address in the Wallacetown area after discovering the kitchen “engulfed in flames”.

The woman – who was actually unconscious from the effects of drink – came to in the close outside and then tried to take one of her children back into the burning flat.

The dramatic details of the incident emerged when the woman appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court for sentencing last week after pleading guilty to a charge of child neglect.

The 35-year-old, who the Advertiser is not naming to protect the identity of her children, had admitted exposing the two children to unnecessary suffering or injury to health by becoming intoxicated through drink or drugs, failing to protect them and exposing them to risk from a kitchen fire on August 27.

She also admitted a charge of assaulting a police officer after being taken to hospital for treatment following the blaze.

The woman was sentenced on October 19 after background social work reports were prepared following her guilty plea at an earlier hearing.

Procurator fiscal Jade Podlesny told the court: “The accused has sole custody of her children, [who were] then aged five and seven.  

“At 1.30pm the witness and his partner, residing in the floor above, became aware of the smell of smoke. 

“On checking the common close, the smoke smell grew greater and they eventually arrived at the ground floor.  

“They observed the accused’s seven-year-old son hysterically crying, stating the accused was dead in the locus. 

“They then entered the kitchen, and observed the accused slumped on the floor, unconscious. The kitchen was full of black smoke and engulfed in flames.  

“They traced the accused’s younger son, then aged four, in a bed, wrapped in blanket. He removed him to safety. 

“While remaining unconscious, the accused was dragged out by her ankles.  

“They got into the hallway, and at this point the accused opened her eyes, then standing up on her own accord. The accused was observed to be intoxicated. 

“She then took her son back inside the locus – and ran back out almost immediately.”

Police attended the scene and the woman was conveyed to Saltcoats police office before being taken to Crosshouse Hospital for treatment.

Ms Podlesny continued: “Officers, in their capacity processing the accused, held the accused and she then headbutted him.  

“She was taken to the ground and bit his finger. The accused then injured herself running into a wall. 

"At the hospital she kicked a police officer to the thigh area.

“At that time she was neither cautioned or charged."

Defence solicitor Steven Maxwell told Sheriff Desmond Leslie: "There was a time when this offence would have proceeded on petition, before [the accused], on conclusion, recieving a custodial sentence.

"I take the view, from the summary nature of proceedings and details in the social work report which I don’t intend to rehearse, that your Lordship can step back from that.

"She is not only ashamed, but very aware of the dreadful consequences that could have befallen her.

“The children are being looked after by her mother.

"I would ask your lordship to give her the opportunity to show this was a genuine mistake."

Sheriff Dersmond Leslie said: "This has probably brought matters to a head.

"It would be for your benefit to work closely with social services for your children to be returned to you.

“Work with the supervising officer; it’s to your benefit.”

The woman was put on a community payback order with two years of social work supervision.