Neighbors pitch in to help Freeport couple whose home burned Christmas Eve

A mobile home on Starboard Lane in Freeport burned Christmas Eve, leaving Richard and Diane Peacock without a place to live. Neighbors and friends have rushed to their aid.
A mobile home on Starboard Lane in Freeport burned Christmas Eve, leaving Richard and Diane Peacock without a place to live. Neighbors and friends have rushed to their aid. Buy Photo
Posted Dec. 27, 2013, at 3:39 p.m.

FREEPORT, Maine — Neighbors and friends rushed to the aid of a Freeport couple who lost their mobile home in a fire on Christmas Eve.

Richard and Diane Peacock’s Starboard Lane home was destroyed in the two-alarm fire, which may have started in a donated medical bed where Richard Peacock was napping at the time.

“He could smell smoke, and he was able to get up,” neighbor Sandra English said Friday afternoon. “He had a little pan of water on the stove where he makes his tea, and he threw it on the wall, but [flames] went up so quickly that he took the dog and ran out into the snow.”

Richard Peacock suffers from a medical condition and required hospitalization after the fire. He came home Friday afternoon and found his neighbors and friends had started to rebuild the couple’s life.

He stopped at English’s home first and enjoyed homemade chicken noodle soup, crackers and tea delivered by a friend.

The Peacocks will stay for a few days with his brother, and then move into a vacant mobile home across the street from the home that burned on Tuesday night, according to English. The Peacocks’ home was insured, English said, and she hopes a new home to replace the one that burned will be on site before too long.

On Friday, 150 gallons of donated heating oil was delivered, and a plumber donated his services to connect the water to the Peacocks’ temporary lodging.

“Just so many people have helped,” English said. “Everyone has been so generous. We are very close here in our neighborhood.”

“They have a wonderful sense of humor, and good faith, and we all love them,” English said of Diane and Richard Peacock. “But we’re all in shock … they’re happy that they’re all alive, but every now and then they think, ‘My mom’s ring, or this or that, is lost.’ They’ll have to grieve that. And they’re overwhelmed by all the good wishes and help they are receiving.”

A friend created an online fund to help the Peacocks recover financially. A separate collection, the Peacock Family Fund, has been established at the Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union branch, 41 Mallett Drive, Freeport, ME 04032.

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