Over 80 years of memories have gone up in smoke for a Hill End couple who have been forced to come to terms with the loss of their family home. Disaster struck for Colin and Lorna Shapland in the early days of the Alpha Road blaze in NSW's Central West, which has left them with nothing but the clothes on their backs, a pair of birth certificates and their beloved dog Fluffy. Perched inside their home 11 kilometres from the Hill End township, the Shaplands remember thinking on March 5 all would be fine with a clear morning ahead. Mr Shapland's son rang at 3am the next morning to say the house was still intact, after his grandson had been stationed at the site with his brigade during the night. Eight hours later, the Shaplands saw puffs of smoke rolling over the hills and had a visit from the State Emergency Service (SES). This was the moment they knew they were in danger. "We were packing our cars and the trailer when we got a phone call on the landline to get out of the house and head towards Mudgee because you couldn't go through Hill End," Mr Shapland said. A phone call from police on March 10 explained their property had been hit but it wasn't until a neighbour called that they knew their home and all of the priceless memories inside had been burned to rubble. "I had the King's Scout Award and I received the certificate from Queen Elizabeth who signed it herself. I don't know why I didn't grab it but it's gone," Mr Shapland said. "I've lost all of my discharge papers from the Air Force, horse trotting training trophies, Lorna's lost all of her mum's memories." IN OTHER NEWS: Still in a state of shock one week on, 88-year-old Mr Shapland admits the reality is yet to sink in. "Everyone is telling me I'm going to have a big cry, that's yet to come but I do get a couple of tears occasionally when I reminisce," he said. It was early 1986 when the Shaplands bought the property with the intention of training horses for harness racing after they had fallen in love with Hill End. After the home was built in 1990, the husband and wife moved in and it is where they have lived for 30 years. The darkness of the situation has been graced with flickers of light, with the Hill End community and those in nearby areas sending love and kindness in waves of support to the Shaplands. "I don't know how I could ever put into words what people have done for us," Mr Shapland said. The Shaplands are temporarily living in a hotel at Mudgee as they piece together the steps towards rebuilding their home.