The quick thinking of two men has saved a young couple and their six-month-old son during a house fire in Union St on Sunday night.
Local residents Louis Campbell and Lawrence Aldridge were next door at the time, and without hesitation Mr Campbell helped kick down the front door, helping the family escape the flames.
“Louis came out to the street and woke all the neighbours, walking up and down the street trying to find a hose to help put out the fire,” one Union St resident said.
“He was first on the scene, the first in there trying to help.
“I said to him that from now on in this community and in this street he is a hero.”
Other neighbours also praised the two for their efforts to save the occupants, as the house was quickly engulfed in flames.
“They’re heroes, they saved lives because in 10 minutes the house went up,” neighbour Mandy Aldridge said.
Resident of the house Mitchell Lawler gave a chilling account of being woken by their dog, Marley, in the middle of the night, allowing him enough time to escape the house with his partner Emily Duncombe and their son Logan.
“I love that dog now, he is everything to me,” 19-year-old Mr Lawler said after the couple were left with only the clothes they were wearing.
He said he woke to see the fire quickly taking hold at the rear of the property.
“All I saw was the orangeness outside, so I legged it and told Emily to get out of bed,” he said.
“I passed Logan to Emily out the front door and then I knew we would be okay.
“It was the scariest moment of my life.”
The couple who had only been renting the house for a few months, said although there was a fire alarm installed outside the bedroom, it failed to make a sound.
“You can replace all the stuff they’ve lost, but you can’t replace a life,” Mr Mitchell’s relieved grandmother Sue said.
“If it wasn’t for the dog they wouldn’t be here right now.”
Emergency services were called, and at 12.10am NSW Fire and Rescue arrived to tackle the blaze which was eventually put out at 2am.
According to police one Bega fireman was taken to hospital suffering from inhalation, but was later released.
Forensics were still investigating the cause of the blaze on Monday.
Donations for the family can be left at either 34 Brittan Pl south of Bega, or 19 Kielpa Pl in Bega.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the young family. Click here for the details