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Smoke alarm saves Ingleburn couple from deadly blaze

Published: 10th July 2006

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) firefighters say a smoke alarm is being credited with alerting an Ingleburn couple to a potentially fatal blaze in their home.

Just before 1.30 am on 10 July 2006, firefighters were called to a fire in a house in Ingleburn. When firefighters arrived they found the occupants outside their blazing home.

Despite escaping from the house after being awoken by their smoke alarms, both occupants suffered from smoke inhalation and one suffered serious burns.

NSW Fire Brigades Zone Commander Superintendent Peter Murgatroyd said that the outcome could have been far worse. “If not for the working smoke alarm this fire could have been fatal. This is another example where smoke alarms saved lives,” Superintendent Murgatroyd said.

When firefighters arrived they found a single level brick home unit well alight. They reported that a number of residents had self-evacuated and, although some were injured, everyone was accounted for. More firefighting resources and an ambulance were requested. Ultimately 15 firefighters from three fire units were committed to fighting the fire, which was contained in about 20 minutes. They also rendered first aid assistance to the injured couple before Ambulance officers arrived.

The fire extensively damaged the home while the adjoining unit sustained damage to a wall and roof area. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The NSW Fire Brigades offers the following fire safety advice:

  • Install and check smoke alarms, which are now compulsory by law
  • Prepare and rehearse a home escape plan
  • Know two safe ways out of every room
  • Have a safe meeting place outside eg letterbox
  • If there is a fire in your home, do not wait, EVERY SECOND COUNTS, escape immediately and then call Triple Zero from a neighbour’s home
  • Once you get out, STAY OUT, never go back inside a burning building