A HUNTER family has escaped their burning unit moments before it was completely engulfed in flames. Shortly after 1pm on Monday November 27, emergency services received numerous phone calls about plumes of black smoke billowing from the top-storey of a unit on Threlkeld Crescent in Fletcher. Fire and Rescue NSW crews from Wallsend, Minmi, Holmesville, Cardiff, Lambton and Newcastle raced to the scene. Fire fighters entered the home to conduct a search and rescue, but the family had self-evacuated after their smoke alarm warned them of the impending danger. "Once crews entered the home, they made their way upstairs where they were met with thick black smoke and intense heat making visibility and manoeuvrability almost impossible," a statement from Fire and Rescue NSW said. "Crews made their way around the home forcing locked doors open and conducing searches of the bedrooms and wardrobes." The fire was extinguished and the cause of the blaze is now under police investigation. The incident is a reminder of the importance of having a working and well-maintained smoke alarm.