A SMOKE alarm and a thoughtful neighbour saved the day as firefighters attended a very close call in Wodonga yesterday.
Josh Savage heard an alarm as he walked past a neighbour’s house in Gilbert Street about 1pm.
He couldn’t see any signs of fire, but he thought it best to call triple-0 — just in case.
It was lucky he did — the homeowners had left a heater on with clothes drying on top of it.
CFA station manager Sean Crosthwaite said the heat had caused the smoke alarm to go off.
And had the clothes been left much longer, a fire would most likely have started.
“The alarm saved the day today,” he said.
“The way it was going, it would have caught fire eventually, probably within the hour.
“It was lucky the neighbour was walking past and called us.”
Mr Savage said he had “freaked out at first”, thinking it was his own home on fire but he had soon realised it was his neighbour’s house and that no one was home.
“I couldn’t see any smoke pouring out but I rang the fire brigade anyway,” he said.
He didn’t think twice about taking action — “I just know that I wouldn’t want my stuff burnt to the ground.”
Mr Crosthwaite said it showed the benefit of having smoke alarms.
“It’s a timely reminder to check your smoke alarms are working and to change the battery if you need to,” he said.
“And also to keep heaters well-maintained — particularly if a little dust or lint gets into it.”
He said that if people wanted to dry clothes by a heater, it was wise to keep them at least three metres from the heat.