An Embleton woman scrambled to warn her neighbours as her home of 25 years was gutted by fire.
Jenny Hough, 58, had been asleep for little more than an hour at her McKenzie Way home when the sound of loud crackling woke her just after midnight yesterday.
"I thought it was someone letting off crackers," she said.
"But then I saw it was really hazy and I just knew it was a fire. I was yelling at the top of my lungs so the neighbours could get out of there."
Fleeing the burning house, she feared her 20-year-old daughter may have returned home late and been caught in the fire.
"But she was staying with friends, so it was a momentary panic," Ms Hough said.
Her border collie Tonka - a rescued dog she adopted over Christmas - and one of her pet cats were killed.
The fire tore through Ms Hough's house, causing damage estimated at $500,000.
Firefighters remained on site throughout the night, with the fire reigniting at 3am and just after 8am. The fire is believed to have been caused by a faulty air- conditioning unit in the house.
Only a few keepsakes were salvageable, including Ms Hough's engagement ring.
"I'm a very positive person, I try to find the silver lining in everything," Ms Hough said. "I got out of it; I'm still here, so I suppose that's it."
Neighbours evacuated from nearby properties praised the efforts of firefighters in bringing the fire under control.Ms Hough said insurance would allow her to rebuild a "basic" house in the same location, with locals already offering their support.
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