The importance of a working smoke alarm has been highlighted after a mother and child managed to escape a house fire at Shoalhaven Heads on Monday morning.
The woman was asleep in the Ravenscliffe Road home, opposite Shoalhaven Heads Public School, around 10.40am when she was woken by shrieking smoke alarms.
Flames were climbing up the wall of the nearby hall as the woman grabbed her baby and ran outside.
She was later taken to Shoalhaven District Hospital by NSW Ambulance suffering smoke inhalation.
A number of Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW crews responded to the single-story brick home.
Within four minutes of being notified of the incident Shoalhaven Heads Rural Fire Service pumper was en-route and fully crewed with five breathing apparatus operators.
Firefighters arrived just minutes later and were faced with a fully involved structure, multiple venting gas cylinders and neighbouring properties at threat.
Crews in breathing apparatus made an aggressive attack on the fire and were able to save the neighbouring dwelling.
Despite best efforts and those of quick thinking neighbours, the house was unable to be saved.
Crews from both fire agencies, NSW RFS and Fire and Rescue NSW, worked exceptionally well together for approximately two hours to fully extinguish the fire and decontaminate firefighters.
At the peak of the incident, appliances/agencies in attendance were; Shoalhaven Heads Pumper, Shoalhaven Heads 1, Fire and Rescue NSW Station 224 Berry, Gerringong Rural Fire Brigade, FRNSW P440, Cambewarra Rural Fire Brigade, Jamberoo Rural Fire Service, Ambulance NSW and NSW Police.
Home destroyed, one person taken to hospital, school in lockdown
One person was taken to hospital and Shoalhaven Heads Public School was put in lockdown following a house fire at Shoalhaven Heads on Monday morning.
Emergency services were called to the house fire in Ravenscliffe Road, opposite the school, around 10.40am.
A number of Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW crews responded to the single-story brick home which was alight.
It took fire crews almost an hour to extinguish the blaze, with the home totally destroyed.
During the incident, one person was transported to Shoalhaven District Hospital by NSW Ambulance.
It is unsure of the extent of injuries the person received, however, it is thought to be smoke inhalation related.
Shoalhaven Rural Fire Service crews from Shoalhaven Heads, Cambewarra and West Nowra were joined by crews from Gerringong and Jamberoo from the Illawarra division.
Fire and Rescue NSW crews from 224 Berry and 440 Shoalhaven also attended the scene.
The fire has been extinguished and fire crews remain at the location, tidying up any hot spots.
A thermal imaging camera is being used to detect any possible remaining pockets of fire.
An RFS spokesperson said the cause of the fire at this stage is unknown, but investigations would be ongoing.
"Potentially there will be asbestos on the site and crews are looking into that and will be undertaking decontamination processes," the spokesperson said.
During the incident, the adjacent Shoalhaven Heads Public School went into lockdown as a precaution.
A Department of Education spokesperson said there was no danger to the students, staff, or the school.
"The school went into lockdown as soon as they were advised that a house nearby was on fire," the spokesperson said.
"Students remained in classrooms and continued with their lessons as normal.
"There was no danger to the students, staff, or the school."
The spokesperson said the lockdown would be lifted once emergency services advise the school to do so.