Family saved by working smoke alarm

In May this year, Nary Tauiliili and her family were eating breakfast downstairs at their family home when they began to hear a faint beeping noise.

Initially thinking it was the oven timer, Nary dismissed it. However when it grew louder, Nary’s husband Matthew went to investigate.


Upon reaching the top storey of their house, Matthew realised a fire had broken out in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

“He ran downstairs to get a pot of water to try and douse out the flames, and I remember yelling for my stepson, who was still asleep at the time, to wake up and to come downstairs,” Nary said.

“By the time my husband got back to the bedroom, the fire had spread from one side of the room to the other, and he knew that there was nothing we could do.”

Within a matter of minutes, the entire top storey of their house was alight.

The Tauiliili family evacuated the house and called Triple Zero (000).

“The CFA arrived within minutes of the Triple Zero call, but in that time the fire had spread. We literally ran out wearing the clothes that we were in and lost everything that day.”

Nary’s whole family were able to safely escape with just the clothes on their back, and credit their safe evacuation to having a working smoke alarm.

“I honestly believe that we had the best outcome for the situation we were in. My family managed to escape relatively unharmed, but most importantly we managed to escape with our lives,” she said.

“I believe that that was due to having a working smoke alarm in our house. If we didn’t have a smoke alarm alert us to the fire, then the outcome for the situation we were in would be completely different,”

CFA recommends installing interconnected smoke alarms in every bedroom and living area.

For more information about smoke alarms, visit

Author: CFA News & Media