Life turned upside down for Rosemary Nelson Perkins and her two adult children when the home they had known for 30 years erupted in flames April 30.
It was a normal Sunday afternoon for the family when 45-year-old Curtis Goodwin went into the kitchen to heat up a plate of food and saw smoke coming from the back TV room of the home at 351 Pike Pond Rd.
â€œI believe it might have been an electrical issue,â€ Perkins said.Â
Perkins said the small wood frame home had been added onto over the years and likely had faulty electrical work to blame for why their home burned to a complete loss. To make matters worse, the home was paid off but uninsured when everything they owned perished in the fire.Â
Perkins, Goodwin and 40-year-old Rachel Anderson shared the home with each one of them getting by on social security disability income. Perkins became disabled due to a back injury while working for the Department of Corrections years ago, and her children each live with debilitating heart conditions on top of other maladies. Living in a home that was paid for gave them a bit of security thatâ€™s now gone.Â
â€œIt went up quick,â€ Perkins said. â€œThey said it was a hot fire that went up to 3,000 degrees.â€
Not having insurance on the house and living on small incomes has left the family without many options when it comes to getting back into a home they can be comfortable in.
One silver lining is that Perkins had recently purchased a small camper on the property that she and her children can live in until they figure out whatâ€™s next.Â
â€œWe do the best we can with what we have,â€ Perkins said. â€œIâ€™d like to be able to build something for myself and my two kids.â€
Perkins said the community has been very supportive with bringing by meals and they received a $640 voucher from the American Red Cross. Living in a camper has left them without a place to store items, so their most immediate need is figuring out how they will begin to fund a new home.
â€œWe try to laugh in spite of losing everything,â€ Perkins said. â€œWe donâ€™t like to ask for help, but sometimes you just donâ€™t know what to do.â€
Losing their home is one of many hardships the family has weathered. A few days before the house burned, Goodwin and Andersonâ€™s father passed away. Perkins was remarried but lost her husband of 26 years – a veteran with severe PTSD – to suicide four years ago.Â
Being able to live with her adult children is one thing Perkins is grateful for.Â
â€œYou learn to be thankful for what little you have,â€ Perkins said.
Family friend Melissa Knowles set up a GoFundMe to help the family get back on their feet. Those interested in donating may do so at https://gofund.me/d8501ab7.