Firefighters and an ambulance crew used Google Translate to communicate with a Russian nanny to establish whether anyone had been trapped in a house fire.
Emergency services were called to the property in Weybridge, Surrey, on Wednesday after a blaze broke out in the kitchen.
But as fire crews tried to find out if anyone was still in the house, they also found that the only apparent occupant, a Russian nanny, did not speak English. But quick-thinking ambulance staff came up with the solution of using the Google Translate service to communicate with her.
Crew commander Tony Pascall, of Painshill Fire Station, said: "We were rushing around trying to find out if anyone was in the house" when two paramedics came up with the idea of using Google Translate on their hand-held devices.
However, he said the problems were made worse because the nanny had left her glasses inside the house.
"The nanny could not read the screen and had left her glasses in the kitchen, we had to go back in to get them. It was quite amusing in the end," he added.
Mr Pascall said that the woman was given air at the scene because of her distressed state, but the property only suffered limited damage. An investigation is now under way to establish the cause of the fire, he added.