Ninety-two-year-old Doris Aspden takes the material of her shirt between her fingers and declares: "This is what we've got."

Mrs Aspden, her son John McCauley and daughter-in-law Patricia McCauley are sitting in Hobart's City Hall, where a refuge has been set up for those evacuated by boat from the bushfire ravaged Tasman Peninsula.

The family lost everything, including their home of five months, at Dunalley, the worst hit town of the Tasmanian bushfire crisis.

Because they'd moved so recently, they were yet to take out contents insurance.

They'd cleared the area around the house on their five acres and had the fire service burn a break for them, all to no avail.

"We said, 'It's going to be a hot summer and we might have bushfires', so we wanted it all cleared," Mrs McCauley told AAP.

"It didn't work though. It's really cleared now."

The fishing village of Dunalley is known to many visitors as a meal stop on the way to or from the major attraction of Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula.

Its bakery and pub offering seafood sit either side of its famous Denison Canal.

The McCauleys' son-in-law watched his oyster-farming gear go up in smoke, including his boats.

While Mrs McCauley's priority was getting Mrs Aspden to safety, Mr McCauley tried to stay and defend their home.

"It was 62 degrees at the head of the fire. It was blistering the paint," he said.

"That's when you die, 62 degrees."

Mrs McCauley went back for him only to be stopped by police.

"When I found out he was going to stay and fight that fire we went back to get him because we were too scared."

Mrs Aspden will head to NSW to stay with one of her daughters, while the McCauleys have been overwhelmed by offers of accommodation and support.

They are already looking to the future.

"We never look backwards. No point," Mrs McCauley said.

"You start again."

Her husband agrees.

"No use sitting there crying and blubbering about it, it's gone and nothing we're going to do is bringing it back."


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