A sweating 2-year-old girl was rescued from a hot car she had locked herself into for more than an hour yesterday.

Ashley Papara and daughter Tilly were parked at the Mosgiel Warehouse in the early afternoon to get presents for another child's birthday party.

"I put her in her car seat, but didn't buckle her in at the time, and she had the car keys on her. So as I went to close the passenger's door to walk around to the driver's side, she had locked the car."

Ashley Papara embraces her daughter Tilly after she was rescued by firefighters from a car parked at the Mosgiel Warehouse yesterday afternoon. Photo / Christine O'Connor, Otago Daily Times
Ashley Papara embraces her daughter Tilly after she was rescued by firefighters from a car parked at the Mosgiel Warehouse yesterday afternoon. Photo / Christine O'Connor, Otago Daily Times

The worried mother and a nearby SPCA volunteer tried to get the child to unlock the door.

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"We probably looked like dorks."

Papara became especially concerned when Tilly started opening bags and spraying perfume around the car.

"At one stage I got really worried, because she had these Mentos, opened them up, and shoved them all down her mouth."

It was hot inside the car and the girl was sweating a lot by the time she was rescued, not helped by her warm birthday outfit.

Papara tried for about 45 minutes to get Tilly out before calling the fire brigade after realising she had no way of opening the car.

It took firefighters more than 30 minutes to pry open the door, she said.

"By that time she was all sweaty. She was kind of relieved and jumped into the fire brigade's arms."

Ashley Papara's shopping expedition took an unexpected turn when Tilly locked the car doors. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Ashley Papara's shopping expedition took an unexpected turn when Tilly locked the car doors. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Papara said the firefighters did a "pretty awesome job".

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"They were quite patient and understanding. It took them a while and they were joking about it, lightening the mood."

She and Tilly only briefly made an appearance at the birthday party, as the young girl was quite upset, she said.

Mosgiel Station Officer Phillip Derooy said one crew rescued the girl.

"It was a little bit tricky to open the lock, but the child was obviously not too distressed so we took our time."