"We have lost everything."
Gwenda Duncan left her home early on Friday as the fire that began at Hillville the day before closed in on her Rainbow Flat neighbourhood.
Her husband insisted she leave, for health reasons, as smoke started to impact. So Gwenda, her dog and their sick cat were sent to Taree.
But her husband stayed to defend their home and property and help neighbours. He was able to help a neighbour save his property, but the Duncans lost everything.
He and about 30 other residents from around Rainbow Flat sheltered at the service station. Fortunately Gwenda was able to keep in touch with her husband via mobile phone, so she knew he was safe at least.
They were reunited in Taree late that night.
The Manning River Times spoke with Gwenda at the Bays Hill lookout where people had gathered to watch fire spreading along the Bucketts Way between Purfleet and Tinonee. Aircraft were dumping retardant around the area of the Taree South service centre which was under ember attack.
The fire started in Hillville on at 2pm Thursday, November 7 and has so far consumed more than 13,000 hectares.
A GoFundMe page has been established to assist this family who are now homeless. See HERE