A family of nine escaped their burning home, which was destroyed by fire, in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).
According to fire officials, a working smoke alarm "undoubtedly" saved the lives of the two adults and seven children.
The occupants of the house in the Kininvie area, near Dufftown, were woken by the smoke alarm at 12.50am and they made the call to the fire service, saying there was a well-established fire within the property.
Despite all getting out, the house was destroyed.
Appliances from Dufftown, Keith and Aberlour responded to the incident and there was a water-carrier from Buckie. A total of 20 firefighters were involved.
Group fire manager Paul Geddes said: “The fire was well established when we arrived and our firefighters worked very hard in arduous conditions due to high winds.
“Prompt action by the parents to get the family out safely and alert the fire service undoubtedly averted a more serious outcome.”
Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, David Rout said: “Firstly I would like to pass on my heartfelt sympathies to the family at what is clearly a very difficult and distressing time.
“What this tragic incident does highlight is the importance of having a fully working smoke alarm within your property."
For more on this story, see the Northern Scot print version, out tonight.