Smoke alarm saves a life
By TOBY WALKER
LOWER Southgate man Noel Nelson owes his life to a recently-installed smoke detector after fire destroyed his weatherboard home yesterday morning.
With his wife away, Mr Nelson had been sleeping alone when smoke started filling the three-bedroom home on Lawrence Road around 2.30am.
The fire that raged through Mr Nelson's home could have easily claimed his life, but luckily the smoke detector's piercing alarm awakened him in time to escape the flames.
He did not suffer smoke inhalation and required no medical attention.
Mr Nelson is believed to be a part-time horse trainer in his 70s. According to a friend, he had purchased the smoke alarm less than a fortnight ago and installed it only last week.
As fire razed the home on his small cattle farm, Mr Nelson headed to a neighbour's property to raise the alarm.
NSW Rural Fire Service crews from Lawrence and Trenayr arrived a short time later but could only work to ensure the blaze did not spread as the fire burned the home to the ground.
Yesterday Mr Nelson was staying with a friend in Lawrence and sorting through the remains of his home. It is believed the home and its contents were insured.
He declined an offer to speak with The Daily Examiner.
At this stage police are not treating the fire as suspicious. The results of a crime scene investigation will hopefully shed some light on the cause of the blaze.
But in the meantime the Lawrence community has already begun rallying around Mr Nelson and his wife Nola.
Yesterday Lawrence Tavern employee John Hoy said a benefit day to raise money for the couple had already be discussed.
He said plans were underway and hoped the event could be staged in a few weeks time.