SOMERVILLE — Scott and Missy Peasley lost everything on a Sunday morning in February when a fire destroyed their home, their barn and killed several of their animals. But all was not lost.

That’s because the day before the Feb. 1 fire leveled their Somerville home, the Peasleys found out they were expecting their second child.

“It was a lot to take in,” Missy Peasley said recently from the makeshift living space in the basement of their under-construction new house. “It seemed like a nightmare.”

Their new house is being built in the footprint of their old house at 85 Route 105, also known as Patricktown Road. The fire occurred while nobody was home and only took an hour to completely destroy the structures. Investigators were not able to determine the cause of the blaze because there was nothing to examine.

Peasley, 34, said the hardest thing for her and her husband, Scott, 39, in the aftermath of the tragedy was explaining everything to their son, Hunter, now 5.

“It was difficult hearing my son ask where his dogs were or where his cats were,” she said. “He saw the fire, so every once in a while he’d ask why our house burned. He’ll ask about the two dogs. He’ll ask questions we just can’t answer. He’ll say that he can’t remember Jenny and Squirty (the dogs), and that’s really difficult.”

But the parents told their son a few weeks after the fire that he would be a big brother, which provided Hunter and the family a much-needed distraction.

“The distraction of his sister has helped a lot,” she said. “We told Hunter that it was his job to protect them (his new sibling). He took on the role of big brother and made sure everything was OK.”

Peasley immediately went to her doctor after the fire to make sure the stress of that event did not cause harm to her unborn child. She was sick for the entire pregnancy, and the stress of having to figure out their living situation with a deadline didn’t help.

“It was stressful, because we lost our house, and now we’re having a baby” she said. “We were living in my parents’ basement and have to build a house quickly so we can get into the house and start our life again.”

Peasley said both her parents and her husband’s parents were extremely helpful and supportive throughout the process and continue to provide help and guidance as they rebuild their lives.

The fast-moving morning fire leveled the main house and a barn in less than an hour due in part to a strong wind. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had engulfed the structures. The responders were delayed in attempting to extinguish the blaze because of a power service line that fell from the house on top of a water pumper firetruck, which meant they had to wait for a Central Maine Power Co. crew to arrive from Richmond. The family lost several animals, including dogs, cats and pigs, and also lost more than 100 pounds of meat from a cow they had slaughtered in the weeks before the fire.

One of the challenging things after the fire was just the logistics of working with the insurance company and filing claims. Peasley said until the fire, she didn’t know who their insurance company was.

“I honestly didn’t know who our insurance company was since we never worried about it,” she said. “We just made the payments to the bank. I had to find out all that stuff.”

The family could not replace the things they had saved since Hunter was born and the stress of replacing household items took its toll. Peasley said that “just making lists of all the things that we needed right then and there, especially clothes for my son, was tough.”

Homeowners insurance has paid for a majority of the rebuild, and the family is using friends and family members to help with construction. Peasley said they are still waiting for a check from their insurer for the estimated value of the contents of their house, close to $100,000.

Peasley hoped to have construction completed by Christmas but now said the plan is for the new three-bedroom, three-bath house and barn to be completed by March. In addition to baby Brooke, the family has added two pigs and two dogs to their stable.

“Hunter calls them his dogs, and he loves them,” she said.

Peasley said she wanted to make sure “to thank the communities that surrounded us with not only donations but also love.

“The outpouring of love from not only our communities but also from my employer, the clients of that office, the teachers from my son’s school, our family, neighbors and complete strangers helped us to get through each day.”

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

 

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