Neighbour acts on smoke alarm

Firefighters were able to rescue a man from a house fire in Belmont after a neighbour heard a smoke alarm and called 000.


Belmont Fire Brigade Senior Station Officer Geoff Brown said without the swift action by the neighbour, it could have been a far worse outcome.

"The adjoining house owner heard the smoke detector, went into the backyard and saw smoke issuing from the roof," he said.

The fire was developing when firefighters from Belmont and Geelong City arrived.

"We were able to do a quick internal attack in the kitchen where the fire has started, suppress that fire and do a quick primary search of the premises where we located the man which was evacuated. He was treated by an EMR (Emergency Medical response) trained firefighter until Ambulance Victoria arrived and treated the man for smoke inhalation," Mr Brown said.

Firefighters then used thermal imaging equipment to ensure they could safely enter the roof structure and completely put out the fire.

Mr Brown said it was common that fires started from unattended cooking and spread via the range hood into the roof. He said the brigades' response was text book.

"We do this drill all the time, but without the actions of the neighbour, which broke the chain of disaster, it could have been a very different outcome."

"It shows that the benefits of a smoke alarm go beyond waking up the occupant, who in this instance was deeply asleep, and can also alert anyone in the vicinity. Our message is that if you hear a smoke alarm, don't assume the occupant has heard it or that the fire brigade has already been notified. Taking action can save a life."

Author: Liselotte Geary