Kim Harper and Mark Peters were standing outside Kim's mother's Lake Conjola home, taking in the destruction.
Surrounded by twisted sheet metal, blackened earth and melted homes.
Mr Peters' car and boat were sitting in the front yard, destroyed, and Ms Harper was on the phone calling out to her mother, "they're all gone Mum!"
Miraculously their home stood, the only one left in the street.
Ms Harper's parents had lived in the home since 1981 and she'd moved there last year after her father, a former firefighter, passed away from cancer.
"My Dad was protecting it, that's for sure," Ms Harper said.
Even more remarkable was that the home survived even though the family had evacuated early on Tuesday to Ulladulla.
"When the smoke changed to white, we left. That's when it gets really hot," she said.
Despite having a lucky escape, the pair were devastated for their friends and neighbours who had lost their homes.
"It's unbelievable, I just can't fathom it," Mr Peters said.
"The young people in that house," he said, pointing to a neighbouring property, "all they've got left is the clothes on their back."
The neighbours on the other side had spent months renovating their home only for it to be completely destroyed. A twisted, melted trampoline was visible in the backyard - a Christmas present only days ago for the young boy that lived there.
Kim and Mark received multiple phone calls from concerned friends asking them to check on their houses and to see if they were OK.
With phone reception down in many places and information thin on the ground, many people were left facing an anxious wait to know if their homes survived.
A slow stream of cars made their way into Lake Conjola on Wednesday morning, each filled with people making the grim discovery their town was destroyed.