House fire sparks detector warning

A FAMILY of five has been left shell-shocked by a blaze which consumed their home.

Firefighters say the cause of the fire at Boambee’s Sawtell Road was still being investigated, but confirmed the two smoke detectors inside the home had no batteries.

A mother, father, and their three children – aged two, four and six – are now being comforted by friends and neighbours.

“The barking of dogs and the fact some of the occupants were awake alerted the adults there was a fire in the home,” said Keith Rhoades, the Sawtell Fire Station commander.

Passers-by and neighbours also became involved.

“The importance of effective smoke alarms can’t be over-stated. Smoke alarms do save lives, but in this case the smoke alarms were not operating,” Mr Rhoades said.

“And don’t ever think someone else has rung triple-0 if there’s a fire. If you see a fire, report it.”

Fire crews saw thick black smoke billowing from back and side windows and the four-bedroom brick home was well alight when they arrived just before 6am yesterday.

“The family was outside and they were understandably distressed and shocked. A person known to the mum was on her way to work and she stopped and took the two boys to another premises and the daughter remained with the mum,” Mr Rhoades said.

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rushed in through the front door to attack the blaze, while a further hose line was set up at the back to direct water through windows into what was believed to be the centre of the fire.

“We had a major fire in one bedroom and fire damage to the remaining bedrooms, the hallway, bathroom, lounge and kitchen. The whole interior was smoke and fire damaged. After investigations by police and fire brigade personnel, it’s believed the fire started in a bedroom.”

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