A GOOD Samaritan and a smoke alarm may have saved a woman from a much worse fate when the million-dollar Byron Bay home she was occupying went up in flames in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Although details are still sketchy, it's believed a man by the name of Chris Hadwell was responsible for pulling Jenny, the female occupant of the Kingsley Lane house, out of the burning building just before 5am.
It is the second house fire in the area in the space of as many weeks.
Neighbour Vicky Innes said she woke at 4.45am to a beeping fire alarm, smashing glass and the sound of screaming. She woke her husband and son, then called triple-0 immediately.
"When I looked out the window I could see flames, it was just roaring," she said.
"We knew it was her bedroom that was all in flames with black smoke billowing out.
"Somehow in this black acrid smoke someone got in and pulled the lady out of the house.
"The smoke detector and whoever went into the house have saved the lady's life."
Jenny, aged in her mid 60s, was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to Byron Bay hospital suffering minor burns and smoke inhalation.
Soon attention turned to protecting neighbouring properties.
"My husband and our neighbour had hoses going to try and stop it coming over to our house," Mrs Innes said.
"It just took off so quickly."
Daylight broke revealing a charred, collapsing, Queenslander-style rental property, totally destroyed by fire.
Miraculously, Jenny's Volvo SUV parked in the driveway was not damaged in the fire.
A family friend who came from the hospital after visiting Jenny yesterday morning said she was recovering from the life-and-death experience.
"A lot of family history and treasures have been lost," the man said.
"She only lost her husband Jamie, who suffered a heart attack, two years ago.
"Her children are flying up from the Hunter Valley tomorrow to see their mother and try to salvage anything they can from the house."
Northern Rivers Fire and Rescue NSW duty commander Inspector Gary White said crews from Byron Bay, Bangalow and Brunswick Heads responded to reports of the fire at 4.46am.
"At this stage the cause of the fire is still under investigation by police and Fire and Rescue NSW."