Firefighters Use Ax To Enter Apartment, Rescue Baby After Nanny Became Too Drunk To Open Door

Firefighters say they had to use an ax to hack into a Massachusetts apartment to rescue a four-month-old baby after the nanny charged with caring for the infant became too drunk to open the door. The nanny, who had a blood-alcohol level four times the legal limit, was so intoxicated that she couldn’t figure out how to open the door to the unit. Therefore, firefighters say they had to break into the apartment with an ax and crowbar to make their way to the infant.

The Daily Mail reports that 52-year-old Susan Conway-Lally was acting as a nanny to a four-month-old baby when she became so intoxicated that she couldn’t figure out how to open the apartment door. Firefighters say that the woman was so inebriated when they entered the apartment that she needed help standing. Police officers led the woman to a waiting police car where she was taken to jail and booked on child endangerment charges.

The family of the four-month-old infant say that they hired the 52-year-old grandmother and nanny on the childcare website The baby’s mother says that she had checked the nanny’s references and ran a background check. The mother notes that Conway-Lally had successfully watched the infant on one other previous occasion with no issue. However, the mother became “frantic” when she returned home and the nanny was unable to unlock the apartment’s deadbolt.
The offending nanny was hired from popular babysitting service

The police and fire department were called to the scene where they attempted to instruct the drunk nanny on how to open the deadbolt. When her attempts were unsuccessful, the firefighters used an ax and pry bar to open the door forcefully. The mother allegedly immediately ran to her baby as police escorted the nanny away from the scene. An ambulance crew was called to the scene to checkout the infant who was determined to be in good health aside from a dirty diaper. The infant was also described as a little bit hungry as the baby had not been fed in at least three hours as the nanny became more intoxicated.

A journal noting diaper changes and feedings left in the home was last filled out at 12:20 pm, three hours before the mother returned home. The nanny was also determined to have a blood alcohol level of .32. They also found a nearly empty 750-milliliter bottle of Cossack Vodka.

When confronted about the alcohol use, the nanny claimed that she has struggled with alcohol problems for some time but thought she had it under control. However, following the incident with the four-month-baby, Conway-Lally admits that her alcohol problem is still severe.

“I have a very, very bad alcohol problem. I thought I had it under control. I don’t.”

According to the Salem News, the nanny has pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment charges and will appear at a pre-trial hearing on February 18. Though she pleaded not guilty, she called the incident a “wakeup call” and says that she is sorry for what she did and horrified at what could have happened to the infant under her care.

“I’m sorry. I had a spotless reputation and I ruined it. Maybe it’s a wakeup call for me.”

The police report indicated that the nanny would have been unable to respond to any sort of emergency involving the infant and that she was incapable of providing proper care at the time of her intoxication. It was also noted that the child was at risk of being dropped by the inebriated grandmother.

[Image via Salem Police Department mugshot]