A Christchurch couple who found out by looking through binoculars that their house was a charred ruin, say it still hasn't sunk in.
Doug and Vikki Pflaum had owned the three-storey home on Cashmere hills since 1992, but it was engulfed by the fire that flared up on Monday night.
"Twenty-four hours ago we were just evacuating our house, and now it's all gone," Ms Pflaum told Seven Sharp.
"My word's still 'surreal' because I don't think it's really, really sunk in. And so I think it's just going to be a journey over quite a few months and even years probably, I'm guessing," she said.
Buoyed by their Christian beliefs, the couple are looking to the future.
"We'll probably end up with a nice new house. That was a perfect house as far as I'm concerned. And we've only seen it from about three kilometres away," Mr Pflaum said.
The couple peered through binoculars at their razed home from the gate of the house they're now staying in.
"We haven't been there yet," Ms Pflaum said.
Asked if it'll be a hard day when they do go up to see the shell of their home, Mr Pflaum said: "It'll hit more. I mean it's in the head at the moment but it sort of hasn't gone to the heart quite so much."
Ms Pflaum said that when they were evacuated it was hard deciding what to put in a couple of suitcases to take with them "especially with a cop at the bottom of the stairs yelling ' you need to get out of your house, I'll give you two minutes'."