News Releases

Smoke Alarm Alerts Elwood Family

back to list
02 Jul 2010
An Elwood family have their smoke alarm to thank for alerting them to a fire in their bathroom in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

MFB SO Donna Wheatly with the girls

MFB firefighters were called to the home in Southey Street, Elwood at 3.28am on 29 June, by the family, who had been awoken by their smoke alarm.

On hearing the smoke alarm, which then stopped operating, homeowner Madeline Goldsmith got up to investigate, first checking on her daughters in the bedrooms.

The alarm started again when Ms Goldsmith was in the lounge room, prompting her to search further, discovering the fire behind the closed bathroom door and quickly evacuating her family.

MFB Station Officer Donna Wheatley said 7-year-old Stephanie and 8-year-old Phillipa remembered the fire education they learned at school and made sure to ‘get down low and go, go, go’ to the family’s safe meeting place.

"The fire turned out to be caused by an electrical fault in the bathroom fan," said SO Wheatley.

The girls show the fire damage to their bathroom

"Ms Goldsmith was able to douse the room with water, which prevented it from becoming a much bigger fire, which could have easily burned down their weatherboard home.

"The Goldsmith family did the right thing in getting out quickly and calling triple zero."

SO Wheatley visited the family this morning to present the girls with fire education certificates for their good work.

The girls & their certificates


SO Wheatley also interviewed Ms Goldsmith for a study currently being conducted by Victoria University in partnership with MFB Community Education about survival factors in serious residential fires.

The study is being conducted over two years to assist fire agencies in better understanding how people react to fire and what actions they take in emergencies.

More information about MFB and CFA’s joint winter fire safety campaign and a home fire safety checklist can be found at

For more information contact:

MFB Media                 CFA Media

(03) 9665 4699         (03) 5330 3124

Back to top
Facts and Features
Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

Its True

Only working Smoke Alarms save lives.

Dial 000 for emergency