The friends of an Oak Flats couple seriously burned in a gas explosion last week are rallying around them to ensure their long recovery is as stress-free as possible.
Ben Round and Colleen Cook remain in Royal North Shore Hospital following the blast, which could be heard suburbs away.
Six ambulance crews arrived at the Forrest Street backyard on January 17 to treat the couple before they were flown to hospital.
It is understood Mr Round was walking towards a shipping container storing large pieces of wood, a car body and other items at the rear of the house when he was blown back by the explosion.
Friends and family of the couple have already raised $5000 so they do not have to worry about expenses and can instead focus on their recovery.
Lake Illawarra resident Brandon Costello heard the explosion moments before Mr Round's neighbour called him to say his best friend had been injured.
"They are both doing well," he said. "Colleen is up and talking now that her breathing tube has been taken out.
"She has burns to 13 per cent of her body, which is still wrapped up.
"On Thursday, Ben had breathing tubes in and was sedated.
The doctors hope to take out the tubes and slowly wake him up on Friday or over the weekend.
"Ben has burns to 65 per cent of his body.
"There was a concern he would need skin grafts on his face but thankfully it looks like he won't need them."
Mr Costello has not been able to see his friends yet but hopes to visit them soon. He has been receiving updates from immediate family.
Mr Costello, who has been good friends with Mr Round since they worked in the mines together during their 30s, was shocked to see the damage at the home.
"I thought, 'what the hell has happened'," he said.
"Three or four other homes were damaged.
"Colleen was thrown about 10 metres and a roller door broke her fall."
Forensic police were at the home collecting evidence on Saturday to investigate the cause of the explosion.
A police spokeswoman confirmed the blast was not being treated suspicious on Friday.
After talking with police and firefighters, Mr Costello believes there may have been a gas leak from a car tank that pressurised in the shipping container.
He suspects Mr Round lit up a cigarette and without knowing, ignited the gas and caused the blast.
"But we can't know exactly what happened until we speak to Ben," he said.
"It was a freak accident. Ben is so meticulous and his house is always perfect.
"He even mentioned to me that he had to get rid of the car tank.
"For the first 24 hours after the accident, I don't think anyone in the family or friends slept.
"My phone was ringing non-stop with people wanting to know if they were ok.
"That just shows how well-known they are and how much people love them.
"They are such characters. They're always up for a laugh or a beer and can turn any blue day into a fun time."
The couple are big Holden car enthusiasts and have many friends through the HD/HR Car Club NSW, who meet up regularly at events.
One of those friends, Jodie Bates set up the fundraiser.
"I started it because life goes on when in hospital," she said.
"Bills still need to be paid and Ben and Colleen will need treatment for some time.
"They are in for a long haul.
"It was horrible to hear about the accident. It shows just how quickly life can change.
"They have so many friends and are so well liked
"I was gobsmacked to see how much was raised so quickly."
Mrs Bates and and other car club members are organising a car show in the Wollongong area next month, with funds raised going to the couple's ongoing treatment.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Details of the event will be posted on the fundraising page.