HUNTER Matthews is lucky to be alive and can safely say that social media platform Facebook saved her life.
The 17-year-old student was home alone and asleep at her 65-year-old grandmother's Charnley St unit in Kearneys Spring on Monday night when a heater ignited clothing and the mattress she was asleep on.
Unaware of the fire and the thick black smoke filling her bedroom, Miss Matthews awoke when a Facebook alert was sent to her iPhone at 1.34am.
“It was only by chance that a friend commented on my status and Facebook sent an alert through to my phone, which woke me up,” Miss Matthews said.
“I am so lucky that I got that message, otherwise I would have been killed,” she said.
She woke to find her bedroom on fire and toxic, black smoke filling the room and fought her way through the smoke to safety.
She then called 000 and alerted neighbours in the adjoining units.
“There was black smoke everywhere; I could not see where I was going.
“The flames were so hot. It was burning my skin,” she said.
Yesterday, Miss Matthews told The Chronicle that she felt fortunate to be alive.
“It was the scariest experience of my life; I certainly do not want to ever go through that again.
“I can still shut my eyes and remember when I woke up, taking that big breath of air only to realise it was smoke. It was terrible.
“I can safely say I love Facebook ... it saved my life,” she said.
Miss Matthews said her grandmother had to remove her belongings from the premises.
She said that if the fire was not enough to cope with, now they had to deal with this side effect of the fire.
“We lost everything in the fire.
“I had to borrow some money from a friend to buy a shirt and some pants,” she said.
A real estate company spokesman said that the tenants had definitely not been thrown out.
“There has not been any kicking out involved here.
“The property is clearly unliveable and the tenant had already made other arrangements.”
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