A FAMILY of six made it safely out of their burning house yesterday morning in Manilla when alerted by their fox terrier.
The fire started about 5.25am at the former display home in Kanangra Rd built by chemist Patrick Mahony, Manilla Fire and Rescue Service captain Ted Taylor said.
"The smoke alarms didn't wake them up a little fox terrier did," he said.
An elderly couple, their daughter and her three children all managed to get out safely.
Captain Taylor said the daughter, in her mid-30s, "went down with a bit of shock later on", was administered oxygen and taken to Manilla hospital.
Captain Taylor said he lived about four houses away and, in the pre-dawn gloom, the smoke was an eerie sight.
"When I backed the car out of the shed and turned the lights on, it was like looking into a wall of fog," he said.
Captain Taylor said it appeared the fire started in an office, possibly at a powerpoint.
"I believe it was an electrical fault; just in the area where it started points to a powerpoint (being the cause)," he said.
The fire spread to the kitchen, hallway and roof of the brick-veneer home, with the office and kitchen "totally burnt out".
He said the front bedroom of the four-bedroom home was "badly smoked" but the other three bedrooms were "barely touched".
Two firetrucks attended the scene – one each from the Manilla Fire Brigade and the Carthage St Fire Brigade in Tamworth, although the fire had been dealt with by the Manilla brigade by the time the Tamworth appliance arrived.
A Rural Fire Service crew also attended, Captain Taylor said.
It took about 15 minutes for the Manilla brigade to get the fire under control in the rooms, but up to an hour to extinguish the fire in the roof area, he said.
“We were just lucky to get the water in the right places at the right time,” he said.
“There were no casualties; even the goldfish, we saved him, too – he’s still swimming.”