A grandmother from Queensland, Australia has been ordered to pay a $1,000 bill for setting off a fire alarm while boiling an egg. Fay Nielsen, 74, denied she burned any pots or caused any smoke when boiling a single egg in her Runaway Bay Retirement Village unit.
But TriCare staff told the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal that they found smoke emanating from her unit into the passageway when they arrived and saw her trying to dissipate cooking fumes and smoke.
Mrs Nielsen said she was unable to explain how boiling an egg had led to the fire alarm going off.
The widow told the tribunal she had been boiling eggs the same way for the last 60 years. "I put the egg in a saucepan of water and boil it for barely five minutes,'' she said.
Mrs Nielsen had sought relief from paying the $1,020.31 bill for an unwanted fire alarm activation but, after weighing up all the evidence, the tribunal dismissed the application.
Mrs Nielsen, who has eight grandchildren, is determined to fight the bill and says she will lodge an appeal and if necessary complain to an Ombudsman. "It's terribly unfair. This decision is absolutely ludicrous,'' Mrs Nielsen added.