A couple has been left devastated, but thankful to be alive, after the North Black Range fire burning in Tallaganda National Park and near Braidwood claimed the home they built by hand using recycled materials.
Angela Hunter and Jake Annetts evacuated their property, Dog Leg Farm, on Friday afternoon. Dog Leg Farm is in Bombay, a small settlement of only about 100 people, just outside Braidwood.
When the couple returned on Saturday morning, their home and everything they had worked for in the past four years was gone.
"We kind of already knew in our bones that it was gone," Mr Annetts said.
"But actually seeing it, that tore a great hole in our hearts."
Ms Hunter said they had "started again with nothing" when they bought the block about four years ago and set to work trying to regenerate the land, planting trees and growing vegetables.
About two years ago, Mr Annetts built a small home on the property.
"It was a bit of a labour of love, really," Ms Hunter said.
"One of our philosophies is about recycling and we make furniture and art out of recycled materials.
'We just wanted to show that you can live with a smaller footprint, and using recycled materials and that sort of thing.
"It was a bit of a sanctuary, I guess.
"It was always meant to be a place where people could come and stay and just calm down, live a bit off-grid and live with nature a bit."
Ms Hunter said she was "pretty devastated" to discover what had become of the home when she and Mr Annetts returned to survey the damage on Saturday morning.
"It's a bit like when you get burgled, that feeling of being invaded," she said.
Ms Hunter said they had taken some things with them when they evacuated on Friday, but the pair had lost sentimental possessions like art gifted to them by friends, and a banjo made in 1927 that Mr Annetts had inherited from his uncle.
"When you think about it, you remember all the things that you left and you think, 'Why didn't I get that? I could've taken five more minutes'," Mr Annetts said.
"But it's all just stuff at the end of the day."
Ms Hunter said the couple hadn't taken any chances when deciding to evacuate, particularly in light of their experience during the 2003 Canberra bushfires, when flames came so close to their former Bonython home the fence palings were burnt.
"We could see it coming over the ridge and from our experience in the Canberra fires, we just thought, 'No way'. I've seen how quickly these things can move," she said.
Since discovering their home was lost, the couple has been inundated with offers of accommodation, emotional and financial support, food and clothing.
As Ms Hunter explained this to the Sunday Canberra Times at the Braidwood Hotel on Saturday, she was approached by a woman who hugged her, before asking if there was any way she could help and promising to bring the couple a curry.
"The Braidwood community is really tight-knit and they've just been amazing, so we'll be OK," Ms Hunter said.