A MURWILLUMBAH family was lucky to escape serious injury or death when a fire broke out in their lounge room on Sunday morning.
About 7.20am two children smelled smoke and raised the alarm, waking an older man who tried to extinguish a mattress fire.
"A mattress in the lounge room was on fire, we don't know how it started," Murwillumbah fire captain Greg Hayes said.
"Two older children in their bedroom were awake and pointed the fire out to another man in the house.
"He woke up and saw smoke and put the fire partially out with an extinguisher."
Murwillumbah fire brigade were called to the scene and extinguished the fire.
The man who attempted to battle the blaze was treated for smoke inhalation.
"We called the ambulance and gave him oxygen until the ambulance arrived and took him to hospital for observation," Capt Hayes said.
"There was no operating smoke detector in the house.
"It was a rental, so it's hard to say who was responsible."
Capt Hayes said that smoke detectors were crucial in every household and urged people to make sure they had a working device in place.
"Would you sleep in a house without one?" he said.
"Fires can and do happen."
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