'The ashtray had just about self-combusted' - Mandurah gardener's quick action saves the day

QUICK THINKING: Scott Southern helped rescue a Mandurah customer after a fire started in his home. Photo: Justin Sudmeyer.
QUICK THINKING: Scott Southern helped rescue a Mandurah customer after a fire started in his home. Photo: Justin Sudmeyer.

A Mandurah gardener has saved his customer's life from a potential fire while working on the job.

Earlier this month ex-fire volunteer Scott Southern heard an alarm going off inside a customer's house on France Street, whose lawn he was mowing, and leapt into action.

Thanks to Mr Southern's quick thinking, the house sustained no damage and emergency services were not called.

Mr Southern said it was just a typical day at his customer's house.

"I went in and saw him, filled up his fish tank like I do every month, had a chat and then started mowing his lawn," he said.

"When I finished mowing his lawns I was sitting there thinking 'what the bloody hell is that noise?'.

"I rushed round the back and got into the house.

"He was sleeping in the chair and the ashtray had just about self-combusted because he left a cigarette in there and all the paper and ash he'd left was all burnt and black.

"The room was full of smoke, so I quickly grabbed the ashtray and put it in a bucket of water and then I opened all the windows and turned the fire alarm off."

Mr Southern said the episode delivered an important lesson everyone could learn.

"Everyone should have smoke alarms and remember to put their hearing aids in," he said.