Deanna Hartley lost her family home in the blaze that ravaged the country side south west of Christchurch yesterday.
Mrs Hartley, in her 70s, was in a state of shock this morning as she surveyed the damage to her Shands Rd property.
"It's looking like something that a bomb's been dropped on. That was our house," she said.
"We had a hay barn full of hay, a lovely wood shed full of wood. They are all gone. My son had a house bus he was working on, he'd just finished doing it up, it was absolutely beautiful."
The bus is now crumpled; a mangled, burnt out wreck amidst the devastation of the Hartley family's property.
The first Mrs Hartley and her husband David heard of the fire yesterday was when they saw smoke in the sky as they travelled home from town.
"We got to a road block. You could see smoke but we didn't know it was here until we stopped."
Mrs Hartley said they waited anxiously to find out the fate of their home, all the time hoping it would survive the blaze.
"We were not allowed down here yesterday, even though we begged and pleaded. We knew our house was somewhere in the fire."
When police allowed them into the cordon a couple of hours later all that was left was the blackened remains of their family home.
The animals were the only treasures to make it out of the fire.
Mrs Hartley said three cows were safe and well in a paddock at the back of the property.
Her son, Clive Hartley, was at the Shands Rd property when the fire started.
He saw the grass start to take light and managed to grab his brothers dog, Turbo, as he fled the flames.
The family spent an anxious few hours fearing for the safety of another pet - Mrs Hartley's daughter's Jack Russell cross, Diesel.
Mr Hartley said "I tried to get the little one but I just had to get out. Luckily when we got back in later I found the little dog had sheltered."
Said Mrs Hartley "He's in the vet, he's got smoke inhalation and burnt paws."
Mrs Hartley is staying at her daughters home in Bishopdale while they try to decide where to go next.
Theirs is one of four homes confirmed to have been lost in the fire.