A Bulli dad has described his young family's white-knuckle escape from a house fire that claimed all their possessions and - very nearly - their lives.
The October 10 fire gutted the home of community stalwarts Alice and Martin Henchion and their three children Hazel (10), Ned (8) and Fergus (5).
Left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, the family say they have been stunned and buoyed by a staggering community fundraising effort that has gifted them more than $55,000 as they attempt to rebuild their lives.
With the fire since attributed to a e-bike battery that had been left charging, the blaze has prompted a warning from fire authorities.
The fire broke out at the family's home of the past five years - a small rental property on Hospital Road.
Mr Henchion, a well-known local comedian, said he got up to use the bathroom shortly after 3am and was about to return to bed when the smell of burning paper made him stop and investigate.
"When I got to the hallway, the whole house was bathed in an orange glow," he told the Mercury.
"There was a big inferno on the deck - it was really scary.
"I ran down to my daughter's room, which backs onto the deck. I didn't know what I was going to find behind the door, to be honest."
The youngest Henchions were asleep in bed with Mrs Henchion, a project manager for Renew Australia, who also runs a local cloth nappy library - Nappy Lane. Mr Henchion yelled to them - "get up! Get out!" before opening the door to Hazel's room.
"There was no smoke in there, no flame; she was fast asleep. I just picked her up and ran," he said.
"The fire was really big. I could see it through the curtains, just outside the door.
"By the time I got Hazel, [the rest of the family] were at the front door."
Mr Henchion said it took just over four minutes for firefighters to respond to the family's 000 call. .
But it was too late for the raised, timber-floored home. The efforts of firefighters were largely devoted to stopping the fire's spread to neighbouring property.
"By they time they got there, the whole place was up."
The Henchions took refuge at a neighbour's house and have moved in with family near Coffs Harbour as they set about securing a new rental home back in Bulli.
In just a few days, a gofundme campaign in support of the family eclipsed its original $10,000 target, spiking to more than $55,000 by Tuesday.
Mr Henchion said his family was incredibly grateful for the financial and other support, including that provided by a local business - Woonona Eye Care - which replaced his glasses in record time so he could make the drive north.
"We needed to buy everything. To try and do that without that support would have been really, really hard. It's mindblowing, the sense of community and gratitude that we have," Mr Henchion said.
"Whatever we lost that night, we gained something much more."
Mr Henchion said investigating authorities had since told him the fire likely began on the back porch, where he had left the six-year-old battery to his electric bike charging.
Superintendent Graham Kingsland, manager of fire investigation and research at NSW Fire and Rescue, said such fires were becoming increasingly common as more lithium-ion devices made their way into households.
"All devices have a battery management system integrated into the system that prevents overcharging, but if you get a failure within that system, that can potentially overcharge the battery, which can potentially cause a fire, so it's really important that people use the correct charger for their battery, that comes from the same manufacturer."
Overheated or damaged batteries also posed a risk - particularly when mounted on things like scooters, where the device were underslung and prone to taking knocks.
Supt Kingland encourages people to buy their devices from reputable dealers and advises against leaving devices charging in bedrooms.
"And the safest way to get a fast indication of a fire in your house, is to have working smoke alarms," he added.