TV chef Rachael Ray has thanked "the kindness of a stranger" for saving her life when her New York state home went up in flames last month.
The star, her husband, John Cusimano, and their dog Bella all made it to safety when their Lake Luzerne property was destroyed by fire on 9 August, and now Ray has offered up details of the drama, explaining she was trying to make her man feel good after a bad round of golf.
"He didn't like his performance, so I thought, 'I'll make pasta and I'll light a fire – that'll put him in a good mood'. It was a cool evening," Rachael tells "Good Morning America". "A few minutes after we started the fire in the fireplace a fella came through the back yard screaming, 'The roof is on fire…!' He was a stranger who was riding his ATV through our back yard."
"We ran outside and sure enough, it was (on fire)."
Ray ran upstairs to gather important items, but her years of working with first responders made her realise it was time to get out: "I could hear the fire crackling through the walls and spreading through the building," she explains.
The TV star and her husband then started fearing for her mother's house across the street: "We were just so thrilled the fire didn't come down the hill and wipe out her home."
After watching the fire rip through their residence, Ray and her husband moved into the guest house they had built on their property and she admits the toughest part of the whole ordeal was watching demolition crews tear down the home.
"I watched the house go down… It's tough to watch it… just all go away… but we have so much to be grateful for. We're still here!"
Ray is now hopeful that excavation crews can find a few keepsakes amid all the rubble, revealing she has lost letters and notes from her mum and her notebooks containing "40 years of my life's work".
"We may get back some things… but there's not a lot there," she says.
The fire was sparked by an unidentified creature, which had burrowed into the chimney and set up a home there.