The quick actions of an Invercargill boy may have saved his family from a fire overnight.
Emergency services were called to the blaze on Kilmarnock Avenue at 3am on Saturday, with reports of a father and two children trapped inside.
"When crews arrived there was a fire located in the kitchen area," Fire and Emergency spokesperson Andrew Norris told Newshub.
"There had been reports of persons still in the property when we got the call but on arrival, they were all out."
He says it was a lucky escape.
"The eldest child, a 12-year-old, was alerted by a working smoke alarm which activated and had woken him up and he managed to rouse the rest of the family."
The fire was believed to have started in the kitchen, most likely from cooking.
Norris says the incident serves as an important reminder for Kiwis.
"There are two messages that come out of it," he said.
"The main one is the installation of a working smoke alarm and in this case, it proved to be a lifesaver."
The second: "The importance of looking when you are cooking... that's an important message from Fire and Emergency New Zealand".