In London, a Canadian serving prison time for grand theft escapes prison and attempts to retrieve his loot, kept in a bank safety deposit box, but his accomplice takes the security key while he only has the pass code.
After yet another smash-and-grab goes wrong, a bungling trio of small-time crooks flash an idea of using a fire engine as a getaway vehicle. But they keep being mistaken for genuine firemen and it starts to become a flaming nuisance.
Young Elizabeth is left with her relatives, a married couple, while her mother is in hospital. The friendly husband likes her, but the wife hates kids. Her father, an often absent crook on the lam, visits her in secret one day.