As a member of Denis Leary's firefighter foundation, Rachael Ray knows a thing or two about fires, but no amount of experience could've prepared her for the fire that tore through her upstate New York home in August.
During the premiere episode of season 15 of the "Rachael Ray Show" on Monday, the celebrity chef walked fans through the wreckage and showed them what is left of her home after the massive blaze.
The 52-year-old and her husband, John Cusimano, first realized they were in danger when a passerby ran into their backyard and told them that their roof was on fire. Knowing that 911 had already been called, Ray rushed into the house to save a few cherished items while she still had time. But the chef quickly realized that she was too late.
"When I ran to the top of the stairs, I could hear the fire in the wall. I could hear electricity. I could hear danger," she said on her show.
Ray is a board member of the Leary Firefighters Foundation and had been in enough fake, controlled fires to be worried.
"I immediately turned to run out and there was a (firefighter) standing next to me (saying), 'Get out, get out,'" she recalled.
Following the fire, which started in the couple's chimney, Ray and her husband have relocated to their guest house. The chef recalled the experience of watching her home burn down during an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" on Monday.
"I think initially we were just in shock. We listened to our first responders and we left with the clothes on our back and the flip-flops and Ugg shoes on our feet," she said.
The couple's guest home is directly across the street so they've had a bird's eye view of the wreckage and have watched the home being bulldozed, excavated and removed.
"I see things that look like they are coming out of a 'Transformer' movie going up my hill and knocking down my life and I drew that house. ... I doodled it on a piece of paper, how I wanted that house to be. Everything in it we collected over the course of the last 20 years together," she said. "But, it's stuff, you know? If you have your life, you can move forward and create new things and new visions."
After going through the devastating experience of a fire, Ray is more determined than ever to educate her fans on fire safety.
"It teaches me to keep doing that work and to explain to people there is no one type of home, there is no place that you can safeguard 100 percent and that you have to take it very seriously to always be prepared," she said.
As they reflect on the events of the past month, Ray and her husband have realized how lucky they are to have the support of their fans and the dedicated first responders that rushed to the scene of the fire.
"Honestly, this is making us our best selves in a weird way. It brings us closer to the people that share their time with us in their day and it certainly brings us closer to our humanity and our humility and taking enough time in each day to be truly grateful," she said.