Housefire(s) and Insurance Info

Because you all love us soooo much, we get lots of questions about what is happening regarding our housefire(s) and the insurance. So here is a page dedicated to give you all the info. That way you’ll all be up to date when we post about developments.

Myrtle, MO

We own a 120 acre farm in southern Missouri. It doesn’t generate any money, just gives us something to do with our time.  And provides opportunities for learning for us and the kiddos.

Over the summer, sometime in June I think, we had a new wood-burning stove professionally installed in our living room. We knew that new stoves stink terribly for the first several fires that are in them. Sometime during the previous week Julie and I had decided that since the weather had been so nice (mid -70’s, we hadn’t closed a window in weeks) that on Sunday, Oct 23, we would build our first fire before church. That way the smell could dissipate while we were away and be gone by the time we returned.

So that morning of Oct 23rd we did just that.  We started a fire in the fireplace and tended to it a bit, and left for church. When we got home we found a house full of smoke and that the chair and piano which were near the stove had burned up. We called 911 and a great group of volunteers showed up and put out hotspots remaining in the walls, ceiling, and kitchen cabinets.

Aftermath and 2nd fire

For the next two weeks the entire family lived in three Quality Inn hotel rooms in West Plains, MO.  We met with insurance persons, talked to fire investigators, looked for rentals, and just tried to keep ourselves alive. Living in a hotel with a family our size wasn’t easy on any of us.

We couldn’t find any rentals in WP, or anywhere nearby, that had more than 3 bedrooms.   We decided we’d stay with family in Utah until the insurance was settled and we could make some decisions. So Julie took the kids and left.  I stayed behind to meet with several contractors to get bids for repairs.

On the day I was going to leave, Nov 11, their was a second fire that consumed the rest of the house. After meeting with the fire crews and being assured there was nothing else I could do, I left for Utah late that night.


We were told by insurance that they wanted to investigate this second fire before making a decision about anything. We’ve been waiting in limbo since then.  It’s basically been a waiting game since December. At some point we think they’ll want to talk to us again or make some other statement. We’re ready to do that at any time.  But until they are ready to make some sort of decision, we just wait.

The frustrating part is just the not being able to plan the future. We thought we’d be in Utah until school was out (which would give us time to rebuild) but now we don’t know if the insurance is going to cover the house at all. So we don’t know if we should be planning a life in Missouri or if we’ll be stuck here in Utah for a lack of housing in MO. We don’t know where the kids will be for school next year, or where they should be planning summer camps, or what to do with the animals that others are so generously taking care of for us. We can’t even tell those who are helping us out when their help might no longer be required.

We’re just frustrated.

So if you are one of those helping us out, please know we love and appreciate you! We’re doing our best, and are trying to be a light burden! Trust us, as soon as we know what is happening, so will you. And now, when we do let you know of any changes that have taken place, you’ll be up to date.


Update (5/14/17)

We’ve decided to stay in Utah indefinitely.  I wrote a blog post about it that you can check out here.