In the early morning hours when a blast tore through a convenience store and apartments in Rozelle, Chris Noble made a final act: sending a text of love.
Mr Noble, 27, was among three to die in the inferno, which occurred shortly after 4am on Thursday, September 4.
At a memorial service in the central western NSW town of Canowindra on Saturday, his mother Liz Noble said she would not allow anger at the tribute to Chris's life.
"The last thing he ever did was send a message at eight minutes past four on the morning of Thursday September 4 saying 'I love you'," Mrs Noble told more than 1,000 people at the service at the Tom Clyburn oval.
Mrs Noble told the crowd they should not have had to have been there farewelling Chris.
"There are no words to describe the distress and anger that we are feeling but I won't allow this tribute to Chris' life to also be taken away from us through the expression of this anger," she said.
"I will just be eternally grateful not more lives were lost on September 4."
People in sedans, four-wheel-drives and utes on Saturday poured into the oval for a memorial in perfect sunshine.
They came with fold-up chairs, bottles of water and trays of home-made cakes.
Mrs Noble said she had tried so hard to keep her children safe and out of trouble growing up.
"Chris was tough and strong, bouncing back from a couple of severe illnesses in his childhood," she said.
"He was so strong I fully expected him to walk out of last week's situation."
Chris' father Ross said his 27-year-old son loved living in Sydney and all the opportunities a big city offered.
"He loved going out at night in the central business district and thus his desire to live close to the action, he said.
"He would have been chuffed about the fuss being made about him today and all the messages we've received and the number of people here has given the family strength.
"We will miss Chris so much but he has a legacy that forever will be entrenched in our hearts and minds."
His brother Michael said Chris was his best mate and he was sorry he wasn't there on that Thursday morning to protect him as he had always tried to do.
"Other than family there was nothing more important to Chris than his mates," he said.
"On weekends he would be travelling across the country for a rugby game with Canowindra or Drummoyne, American football with the Lions in Western Sydney, back in Orange for a night or in Canowindra with his mates."
His sister Kate said as his baby sister Chris had always been fiercely protective of her.
"It's a credit to him the amazing number of people here today who knew and loved Chris or who have been affected by him in some way," she said.
Farmer Jason Smith summed up the feelings of the mourners. "Chris was a bloody good bloke. He will be sadly missed."
Police investigations into the cause of the fire, which has been treated as a suspected arson attack, are continuing.