A Papamoa toddler has learned a hard lesson about where not to stick his fingers.
The 21-month-old boy got his fingers stuck in the plughole of a bath yesterday afternoon, sparking the callout of not one, but two fire crews.
Mother Rachel Boyle was bathing Pheonix and his 4-year-old sister about 2pm when bath time finished and the plug was removed from the bottom of the bath.
After the children played with the plug - trying to put it back in hole and pulling it out again - Mrs Boyle removed it out of her children's reach.
"Then it just happened. He was sliding his hands over the plug hole, he's done that before but he pulled it out fine but it had a bit of a push to it and this time he couldn't [pull his hand away]."
Three of Pheonix's fingers got stuck in the plug hole. "It was terrifying at first," Mrs Boyle said.
"His hand was stuck past his knuckles."
Pheonix's fingers began to swell, which made it impossible for the toddler to remove his hand from the bath.
"He was quite frantic, he cried for a bit," Mrs Boyle said.
She tried to lubricate his fingers with baby oil and soap, without success, so she phoned 111.
Fire crews from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui rushed to the toddler's assistance and found him upset and stuck in the bath.
Mount Maunganui Station Officer Roger Pickett said firefighters first levered the plug out so they could take the boy into the kitchen where there was more light.
They managed to prise one finger free but one remained stuck. With the boy's finger swelling, firefighters cut the plug hole with tin snips, Mr Pickett said.
About an hour after the incident, Pheonix sat calmly with his mother on the couch in their Dickson Rd home.
The toddler had a bandage on one of his fingers but he was otherwise unhurt.
Mrs Boyle thanked the quick actions of the firefighters and said they were "awesome".
With Joseph Aldridge