Joe Moore was on the phone to his son, a Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter, as he was trying to protect their family home from a out-of-control blaze at Springwood on Thursday.
“All the neighbours were trying (to protect it) and then they got evacuated and my son got to stay back and tried to fight it but it got too much,” he said.
Mr Moore said he heard the firefighters yell out to his son that they had lost the home before being forced to flee the fast-moving flames.
“I have been here all my life,” he said.
“It was a dream home.”
Despite the enormity of his loss, Mr Moore said there had been no loss of life, and homes could be replaced.
Mr Moore lived in the property with his wife, three sons and four Aboriginal boys he was a foster carer for.
“They tried as hard as they could to save it but the winds just got too bad and they couldn’t save it,” he said.
Despite the shock of losing his home and facing the uncertain task of finding a roof to put over his family of nine, Mr Moore is tending to others in need at an evacuation centre at Springwood Golf Club.
Mr Moore, a golf professional from the club, said the gusty winds contributed to the “perfect storm”.
“You have fires up here all your life and we haven’t lost a lot but the fires and the winds have always been favourable,” he said.
“It’s one of those things, if you want to live up in the Blue Mountains … it’s a beautiful place to live but it has the dangers of nature’s ferocity like we had today.”