Flame and fear were the twin demons Kim O'Connor outran on New Year's Eve.
The Surf Beach mother and truck driver needed both speed and endurance to race the fire that blasted through from Mogo that morning.
It began at 6am with a text message and finished at 9pm in a blinding headache and collapse.
It was a race run not knowing the fate of her two daughters, Zoe and April, whom she believed to be in the path of the fire on Beach Road, Surf Beach.
Mrs O'Connor, her husband Brett, her brother-in-law Ian, their friend and employee Matthew Britton and Mark Hood saved their home and truck yards at 36 Kauzal Crescent.
Mr Hood would have to rush home to his own family and Ian and Mr Britton would end up in hospital with smoke inhalation and scorched eyes respectively.
To the O'Connor's distress, other homes burned all around them.
"We got a warning on our phones just on 6am," Mrs O'Connor said.
"We flew out of bed; I bashed on my daughter's door, told her to get out, to go to her sister's place on Beach Road.
"I grabbed my jewellery, Mum's rings, and her ashes."
Their three dogs, two cats and trucking business paperwork went with Zoe to April's place, with instructions that neither daughter came back.
Mrs O'Connor is one resourceful woman, with or without a fire, but speaking to Australian Community Media on New Year's Day, as friends and relatives gathered, it was clear the shock and emotional trauma cut deep.
"We told them not to come back. We told them we loved them," a shaken Mrs O'Connor said with tears.
The girls would soon watch in horror as the fire pushed through their parents' neighbourhood towards the coast.
But their parents had a plan. They had RFS advice weeks before and put it into action, taping windows, blocking downpipes, wetting everything with three hoses on town water, a tank and a firefighting pod on a ute.
By 7am the sun was red, by 7.16am smoke was billowing, by 7.30am you could hear it coming.
Then things got real.
"It just came roaring in from the front over the hill. It was throwing flames next door, spotting, bouncing along and then by 9.15am the fire was running along the ground, across the trees," Mrs O'Connor said.
A neighbour's house "just disappeared", but thankfully she was away. A neighbouring hedge of pines was a constant threat.
"We did what we had to do," Mrs O'Connor said. "You could hear it hiss and bang, you could hear trees falling."
The couple credits Mr Britton with saving their shed and its contents: "Matt stood there and fought."
"It was killing us, the exhaustion," Mrs O'Connor said.
"We started at 6am and Brett and I were still going at 9pm."
Her 6am start including running to warn neighbours.
NOTE: Kerrie O'Connor is the editor of the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner. She is no relation to the O'Connor family interviewed for this story.