It was the call that flipped Graeme McPake's world upside down.
The father-of-four was attending a colleague's farewell last November when his phone rang - his Campbelltown home was on fire.
The blaze, understood to have started in the roof, completely destroyed the house. No-one was home at the time.
Mr McPake said the family did not have insurance.
"We were on our own. That was when it really sank in - we're in trouble," he said. "It was an extremely tough time for us."
Fast-forward seven months and Mr McPake says his family has been offered a "second chance" after contestants from Channel Seven program House Rules Australia rebuilt their home.
Mr McPake, his partner Mary and children Lily (10), Skye (seven), Cole (two) and Jade (one) will feature on the show this Sunday night, where the home's final look will be unveiled.
Mr McPake told the Advertiser that he was blown away by the generosity of the House Rules crew.
"Without House Rules, I don't where we'd be right now," he said.
"The contestants were really sympathetic. They put aside the fact that this is a competition and listened to our story.
"I don't know how to pay them back."
Mr McPake said the House Rules opportunity "fell out of the sky".
"I used to turn up at the house every day, just to do things like sweep the floors because it felt like I was doing something positive," he said.
"I then got a call from one day from Channel Seven asking if we were interested to appear on House Rules."
Mr McPake said the terrible incident had produced a silver lining.
"To have my family together supersedes everything, it's the biggest blessing," he said. "We have a really strong and have been through a lot together.
"This is something the kids should never be exposed to, but they've been so resilient.
"Mary has been brilliant, so beautiful. She has taken care of the kids and really supported me, too."
The special House Rules episode will air Sunday, June 23, on Channel Seven at 7pm.