A unit at Belmont South has been partially destroyed in a fire yesterday evening.
The female occupant fell asleep in the living room of the Pacific Highway property around 5pm but awoke minutes later to the sound of the smoke alarm.
She grabbed her children, aged one and two, and was able to escape the unit unharmed.
Firefighters managed to contain the blaze within half an hour.
The Department of Housing property was partially damaged while neighbouring homes sustained smoke damage.
Police believe a discarded cigarette could be responsible for the blaze.
Alternative accommodation is being sought for the family.