It took six minutes for firefighters to arrive at a blaze that threatened a Riverina home on Friday night.
This speed, in addition to their skill in combating the flames, was praised by a family who could have lost everything.
Henty and Culcairn Fire and Rescue NSW crews services were called to a home in flames at about 7.40pm, according to fire chief Phil Takle.
Arriving at about 7.45pm, the station captain said they learned the fire had started in the kitchen and torn through the roof cavity.
“When we got there the roof space was, what we call, fully involved,” Captain Takle said.
“We sent crews inside with breathing apparatuses to knock the fire down as fast as we could.”
Captain Takle said the house had suffered extensive damage, but he said family were thankful no one was hurt or killed.
“They said to me the house was insured, so they could deal with that,” he said. “At least their kids were out.”
While this fire started in the kitchen, “before their eyes”, Captain Takle said winter was a peak time for fire service, with an increased use of heating appliances.
"You have to be extra vigilant in winter,” he said.
“And make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
“They save lives.”