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6-year-old New Jersey girl heard smoke alarm, saves family from fire

“Way to go Madalyn,” the department posted. “You’re indeed a hero!!!” And we agree, what a story!

(CNN) -- A New Jersey firefighter and his family lost their home in a fire Sunday, but his daughter made sure the family remained safe.

Six-year-old Madalyn Karlbon heard a smoke alarm go off in her home in the middle of the night, according to the Avenel Fire Department's Facebook page. After seeing smoke, she woke up her dad, Avenel Fire Department Ex-Chief Jimmy Karlbon, and they helped get the family to safety.

Avenel Fire Department President Frank Strain told CNN Tuesday that the family's house has been deemed uninhabitable after a fire accidentally started in the Karlbons' kitchen.

In the meantime, toys, clothing and other donations have flooded in.

"We've gotten a few dollars," Strain said. "It's been quite a few. I haven't counted them up yet, but it's in the thousands."

Strain, an ex-chief himself, said he's known Karlbon for 30 years and knew whose house he was responding to once the address came in.

"He's like a brother to me," Strain said. "We were just praying that everybody was out."

The Avenel Fire Department said in another Facebook post that the family is staying in a nearby hotel until renovations can be completed on their home, but they were quick to compliment Madalyn on her bravery and quick thinking.

"Way to go Madalyn," the department posted. "You're indeed a hero!!!"