Saved by alarm
The sharp hearing of neighbours might have saved the life of an Oamaru couple on Friday Morning. Southern Fire Communications shift manager Daryl Ball said neighbours of a house on Elizabeth Cres heard a smoke alarm and could smell smoke, despite the people in the house apparently not noticing the sound of the alarm. ‘‘The smoke alarm went off because there was a mattress smouldering because it was on fire’’, Ball said. The neighbours called the fire service, who sent two crews from Oamaru, and the mattress was taken out of the house and doused with water. However a crew had to return to the scene not long later as the centre of the mattress continued to smoulder, and it had to be fully extinguished. ‘‘This could have been something very serious, the smoke alarm has saved property if not life.’’ Ball said that the situation could have turned out very different ‘‘if they didn’t have a smoke alarm in the house’’.