Former London musician Malcolm Battersby has worked with The Police, but he's never been more pleased with a cop telling him to f*** off than during Tasmania's bushfires.
The ferocious Tasman Peninsula blaze jumped Sommers Bay on Friday evening, levelling houses on the shoreline of the tiny village.
Somehow musician Mr Battersby's house survived, virtually untouched, and so did he - just.
"I felt the heat blast from just up the top of the hill and then the copper just pulled up there and said f*** off," Mr Battersby told reporters on the veranda of his home.
"I ran. My car was loaded, I just reversed out and hoofed it off."
The cruel randomness of Tasmania's bushfires is nowhere better seen than at Sommers Bay.
Trees ringing the bay are blackened to the water's edge and demolished houses surround Mr Battersby's.
"I don't know how the hell it's still here," he said.
"We saw the fire come over the hill. At four o'clock we saw the wind change. At 5 o'clock the sky went red.
"The fireball took two seconds to cross the water. It took another two seconds for my mate's place to go up.
"It jumped the water like it wasn't there."
Mr Battersby said there was no way firefighters could have saved his house.
"Anybody who stood in the way would have been cremated straight away," he said.
The 56-year-old guitarist and sound engineer, known as The Bat, has worked with acts such as The Animals, The Police, Thin Lizzy and Robert Plant.
His gig at prestigious Tasmanian venue Brookfield Margate is off this weekend but all is not lost.
"My car was full of my guitars and my amps and my computer," he said.
"I didn't have any clothes and I had a lump of cheese."