When the local fireman saw the Hughes house going up in flames, he raced in, grabbed two mosaic artworks and threw them in the fire truck.
Those two tiles are now priceless, Caitlin Hughes says.
It's all that remains from the family's home on Fingal Bridge Road, Winmalee, in the Blue Mountains, after the devastating bushfires burnt through the area on that hot and gusty Thursday in October.
Caitlin and Peter Hughes, and their two children Oliver 5, and Sienna, 4, are now living in a rental home.
They spent the first few days in a hotel and then house-hopping at friends.
Their insurer has been great, Caitlin says.
A hotel was organised immediately, it paid for the rental and their insurance money was paid straight away.
One of the biggest stresses though has been finding permanent accommodation.
Being more of a holiday destination, the Blue Mountains is full of B&Bs but very limited when it comes to homes for rent.
"There was pressure to find a place."
"At one house, there were 25 families viewing it.
"We're in a rental now. We signed a lease on Monday and moved in.
"It's difficult because you're competing with your neighbours, and you're thinking `I really want this house'.
"But we were lucky, because we got in really quick - straight off the mark."
The Hughes are paying $480 a week for a two-bedroom house that has a granny flat out the back where Peter will work.
Caitlin believes the price is fair and they are not being exploited, after stories began circulating that landlords where upping the rent.
She says her landlord even went out of his way to get the house ready as soon as possible for them.
Now that the family are in their rental home, Caitlin says Oliver and Sienna are more settled.
"They have been very upset.
"Everything from terrible behaviour, not sleeping, cranky and irritable, but better now that they are in the home."
They ran from their homes with their clothes on their backs and their laptops.
She says the support from charities has been amazing with all the donations of clothes, linen and toys.
In fact, she jokes, that the kids don't need any more new toys.
Caitlin and Peter bought their brick home three years ago, and had just finished $40,000 of renovations.
Not only did they lose their home, but their businesses as well.
"It's a triple whammy," Caitlin says.
Peter, a financier, and Caitlin an artist with her own studio, plus her teaching studio, both worked from home.
While her husband lost many documents, he has been able to set himself up again because his data was backed-up.
Caitlin lost all her stock and both studios.
Fortunately, the back shed survived and her "new beloved kiln", which was a major investment, still stands.
The brick pillar at the front with a mosaic tile with the number "136" is the only reminder of their home.
"We've still got a mortgage on a house that doesn't exist," she says.
"Everything was destroyed, with the heat, it just melted.
"Our street was one of three streets the worst hit," she says. The others being Buena Vista and Heather Glen Roads, where a total of 193 home were destroyed.
She says the best thing for them financially is to stay where they are and rebuild.
Caitlin says her and her husband have worked hard to establish their clientele and to walk away from it would be stupid.
Anyway, they wouldn't leave the area.
"We are privileged that we have so much support around us," she says.
"The community is all in it together.
"We don't feel alone."
The fireman's daughter is one of Caitlin's students.
"We're all connected," Caitlin says.
"I teach all the local children. He (the fireman) said he grabbed them (the mosaics) because he said his daughter loved coming to my place.
"So, it's just really lovely."
And it's that community spirit which is the reason why the Hughes family will rebuild their home.
It's the sentimental things that get accumulated over the years that Caitlin misses.
"The wedding photos, the baby photos, we didn't get any of that, and then paintings by my grandmother, all the special things that you get when you're older that I've just been given by the family."
When she gets time, Caitlin says she'll take up the counselling that has been offered to the fire victims.
"I lie in bed and I think about it. I think about that drive out, and think `what if', but I know that's not healthy and doesn't help."
The fires have clearly spooked a lot of residents.
Already there are plenty of "for sale" signs on homes that weren't burnt, she says, and on ashen blocks of land of residents who just have decided not to stay.
Caitlin and Peter will rebuild a home, following all the new building codes that are being put in place.
She admits some of the houses that weren't destroyed were the newer ones with a lot of cleared land around them.
"I'm determined not to give up and to make this work, and I'm going to come out of it better than I went in."