'Smoke alarms save lives' is a reality, not just a Fire and Emergency promotional motto - as one teenage boy found out on Tuesday.
Asleep at his home on Waterstone Ave in Paraparaumu yesterday morning, he was woken up by the sound of smoke alarms and was able to get out unscathed.
"The first call came through to us at 11.15am yesterday morning," Paraparaumu Fire Brigade station officer Richard Swarbrick said.
"The smoke alarms were going off, the dogs were barking, and the boy woke up to the alarms and the smell of smoke.
"It first came through as a call about the smell of smoke inside a house, which came from the boy's mother, and as further information came through and on arrival, it quickly became apparent the top story of the house was fully involved."
Two appliances turned up initially, with both the career firefighters and the volunteer firefighters from Paraparaumu Fire Station attending.
On arrival, Richard changed the call to a second alarm which called another two appliances, one from Paekākāriki and one from Waikanae, along with a support vehicle to the scene.
"When we got there everyone was out including the dogs, and the young fella did very well and was able to tell me exactly where the fire was, he said that it was in his bedroom."
The crew was then able to make entry and quickly extinguish the fire.
The cause is currently unknown and a fire investigator has been assigned to the scene.
The cause will not be known until the investigation is completed.
While the family has insurance, Richard said the message from this fire they want to share with the community is that smoke alarms save lives.
"The message that needs to get across is that the boy was asleep in his bed, he was woken by the smoke alarm and the dogs barking.
"By the smoke alarm going off that gave him enough time to get out, but his bedroom was completely destroyed.
"It was absolutely the smoke alarm which saved the boy's life."
Richard said what makes this fire more significant is that back in 2017, the Paraparaumu Fire Brigade went to the property at the request of the mother to do a home safety fire check.
A home safety fire check is where the fire service will come over to your place, have a look at your smoke alarms and make sure they are in the right place.
"We found back then that while they had two smoke alarms, they were in the wrong location.
"We relocated them to the correct location, put up another one, and gave further fire safety advice."
It was the alarms the fire service installed that saved the teenager's life.
"It was those alarms that woke the boy up, warned him, and gave him enough time to safely get out of the house."
Richard's advice for people who are unsure about their fire safety plan is to give their local fire station a call for advice, and to check the batteries of their smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms are designed to wake you up, which is why they are important in the bedroom.
"We can either give you advice over the phone or we can arrange to come over and do a fire safety check for you."
The fire service will also provide at least one smoke alarm for free.
"A lot of people think they will wake up to the smell of smoke, but the reality is most people lose their sense of smell when they sleep.
"Carbon monoxide, which is in the smoke, will also put you into a deeper sleep, so you need the early warning from the smoke alarms to wake you up and give you enough time to get out.
"In this case, the alarms gave the boy enough time to evacuate out of the two-story building and when we arrived, we only had a fire to deal with, not a rescue mission."