As Sharron Paramore ran out of her burning house and collapsed on the ground, she remembered her pet dog Honey locked up inside.
"I just thought, oh my God, she's still in there. She had been locked in the wash room and when I ran out the smoke was so thick I didn't stop to get her.
"So I jumped the fence and ran back into the house without a thought."
Honey had backed herself into the corner of the wash room and was spooked from the noise of the fire.
"The fire hadn't got into that part of the house but I really had to call her to come to me and then pull her out of the door."
It has been almost a month since Mrs Paramore lost all of her possessions in the fire, which broke out shortly after lunch on December 10.
She escaped with "just what I was wearing at the time" but more importantly she managed to get out and account for the five children she had been looking after at the house in McLaren Cres, Maraenui.
The youngest was her granddaughter Havana, who was eight months old at the time of the ordeal and had been in a room at the other end of the house when the fire began to engulf the building.
Dealing with the fire and learning how to move on had been made easier by the copious amounts of well-wishes and gifts neighbours and the community had offered Mrs Paramore's family.
"We were really worried about what kind of Christmas we were going to have but it was a really good one together, thanks to the support we've had.
"We've had all sorts of donations, like furniture, food, vouchers to buy stuff at The Warehouse, it's just been unbelievable." Relatives had also rallied to offer support and a Facebook page had been set up to help the family.
Mrs Paramore is still living in McLaren Cres but just down the road from her damaged house, with her long-time friend Sue Hicks. The two families shared Christmas together.
"We're not sure what's going to happen to our house. Housing New Zealand is talking about rebuilding but I really don't know."
Despite the drama of the fire, and losing all of her possessions, Mrs Paramore elected to turn up for work the morning after the incident.
"I work as a cleaner at West Quay Apartments and it's the kind of job where you have to turn up, no matter what. When I first went to work, no one knew anything about the fire. Then they found out about it by reading the newspaper and thought I was crazy coming into work."
Mrs Paramore hoped all of the children can start to get back to some form of normality when school starts at the end of the month.
"If it wasn't for the support of everyone who has come to help us, we wouldn't be able to continue on as normal. I'm not sure where we would be.
"I just want to thank everyone, so many people out there who have been willing to do anything for us."