Homeowners who had their properties destroyed in the 2017 Carwoola bushfires have a chance at receiving compensation thanks to a recent NSW Supreme Court decision.
However, one homeowner who lost everything says while money from the class action would help, "it'll never replace the loss".
The fire was started when two workers for the company Advanced Plumbing and Drains were using a power cutter which sent sparks into nearby grass at a Carwoola property.
While the company had public liability insurance through insurance giant CGU, the insurance company had sought to deny liability.
It argued, in part, that because the work was being carried out at the property of the plumbing company's owner it was not part of its regular business for which it was covered.
Also, the men had been using the power cutter to cut reinforcing steel for a retaining wall and not for the installation of plumbing which was the company's usual work and therefore wasn't covered, CGU argued.
The insurance policy also held a clause that it did not cover welding, which CGU argued also indemnified it from being liable.
However, Justice Stephen Campbell of the NSW Supreme Court found there was an argument that CGU was liable for the actions of Advanced Plumbing and Drains' two workers that day.
He found the fact it was on the owner's property did not preclude it from being covered and that the tool used did not meet the welding caveat.
Regional Victorian firm Maddens Lawyers is preparing a class action on behalf of those affected by the Carwoola bushfire and the company said Justice Campbell's decision was a "green light" to move forward.
Kevin Lindley and his wife Vanessa lost everything when the fire tore through their property.
On top of their home, the pair had run a successful mechanical repair business for 28 years, specialising in heavy machinery.
Mr Lindley lost all his tools and a seven-bay storage compactus worth of documents and manuals that represented decades of knowledge.
The couple were covered by nine different insurance policies and had to battle for two years to get the companies to pay out a cent.
"They just string you along," Mr Lindley said.
"You're having to re-live the whole experience."
The Lindleys originally did not join the class action as their insurers told them if they received a payout the insurers would make a claim against them to pay back the original payout.
However, the insurer later changed their stance and the couple could join the suit.
Mr Lindley said they joined the action to help cover things that their personal payout did not extend to, to help get them back on their feet.
"Five or 10 per cent of something real is better than 100 per cent of nothing," he said.
"But it still won't put our world together again."
He said he knew of other people in the Carwoola community who had experienced divorce due to stress caused by the aftermath of the fire and people who had moved away because they could not bear to remain.
With the court decision Maddens can launch the class action but the recent decision does not guarantee CGU will be forced to pay compensation for the damage.
The Carwoola bushfire burned about 3500 hectares and destroyed 11 homes and 45 outbuildings in February 2017, a further 12 homes were significantly damaged.
Shannon Lyndsey Orford and Harrison William Elliott, the two tradesmen who accidentally started the fire, received criminal convictions in December 2017 for failing to comply with a total fire ban.
Advanced Plumbing and Drains went into voluntary liquidation in December 2017.
Maddens Lawyers principal, Kathryn Emeny, said the damage caused by the fire was extensive and was estimated at about $15 million.
"Although the bushfire occurred over two years ago, the impact is still being felt by the Carwoola community to this day," Ms Emeny said.
"Now that we are in receipt of the court's judgment we intend to advance the class action with vigour."
She said there were about 50 people who had contacted the firm so far but she was aware of other impacted property owners who had yet to register as part of the action. She urged any impacted property or business owners to contact Maddens Lawyers.