Man saves neighbour's house with 'gut feeling'

A WORKING smoke alarm and the quick thinking of a neighbour are two reasons why Karen McClelland's home wasn't engulfed in flames.

On Sunday night, the Maryborough mother had left her stove turned on when she left the house to have dinner with her daughter.

About 6pm, Ms McClelland's neighbour, Matthew Hill, who was asleep after night duty, woke to the sound of an alarm.

"It woke him up and he got up and wondered where it was coming from and figured it must have been coming from the next street," Ms McClelland said.

"All of a sudden the alarm became more urgent and he felt something in him to go and check it out."

Mr Hill and his wife, Christen, then ventured to Ms McClelland's backyard to find smoke billowing out of the back of the house. Mrs Hill immediately called emergency services.

"Matthew didn't even think twice," Mrs Hill said.

"He just threw himself in the window and did an incredible job."


Due to the thick black smoke, Mr Hill could barely see inside the house.

"He said he could see the raging pot on the stove so he went inside, grabbed the pot and threw it outside," Mrs Hill said.

Mr Hill then checked each room of the house to see if anyone was inside.

In the process, he saved Ms McClelland's Jack Russell.

"I'm so thankful for my neighbour because that pot was only minutes away from turning into a fireball," Ms McClelland said.

"If it weren't for (Mr Hill), my house would have been on fire and it goes to show how important it is to know your neighbours."

Acting station officer at Maryborough Fire Station Chris Harvey said the incident highlighted the importance of working smoke alarms.

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