What's began as a curse, is turning into a blessing, as family and friends rally around a Grove area couple whose home was destroyed by a recent fire.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, a chili feed - complete with a chance to win either a shotgun or 50 pounds of hamburger - will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Grove Community Center in Grove.

Funds raised through the event will help Matt and Kristen Mussati, and their two children: Micah, 9, and Gema, 5, begin to rebuild following the Friday, Oct. 13 fire, which caused extensive smoke damage throughout their rural Zena home.

"I'm so thankful for everybody," Kristen Mussati said. "We're not the kind of people who ask for help, but we appreciate everyone who is helping out.

"I can't thank people enough for what they are doing."

About the fire

The fire began sometime after 1:30 p.m., on Friday the 13th, when a semi driver pulled his rig into the Mussati's yard.

DeWayne Creason, Kristen Mussati's father, said it appears as if the semi "clipped a neutral wire," as the driver pulled it around the house.

From what Kristen Mussati can tell, an electrical fire began sometime after the incident, primarily centered on the couple's computer and desk - where all of the business files were housed.

It appears the fire may have smoldered for more than two hours before it put itself out.

When Kristen Mussati and her children arrived home, after 4 p.m., they discovered while the fire itself was isolated, a thick heavy smoke filled the home.

Other than a few items, including some heirloom quilts, everything in the home was declared destroyed.

Creason said inspectors have indicated the family will need to "gut" the home, and start from the beginning.

New appliances, Kristen Mussati said, which sat unopened in their living room, were also considered beyond salvaging. 

While the family waits for the truck driver's insurance to settle for the damage, family and friends hope the chili feed proceeds help the family begin to get back on their feet.

"We've had some terrific friends who have donated probably more than they should have," Creason said. "Our family has lived in the area since 1919. So we've been here a long time.

"We just want this to be the success we know it can be."

Kristen Mussati said she's glad her children can learn a lesson in gratitude from the experience.

"They've had their friends donate stuff, and they've gotten to experience people helping each other," she said. "I'm proud of the way they've handled it.

"I'm glad they get to see, how when someone's in need, other people come together to help them out."

If You Go

A chili dinner benefit for Matt and Kristen Mussati of Mussati Towing will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Grove Community Center, 104 West Third, Grove.

The event is designed to help the family recover and rebuild from a fire which destroyed their home. Proceeds will help with the new structure and furnishings.

The event will include a drawing for a shotgun and 50 pounds of hamburger. Tickets are $2 each.

For more information, or to make a donation, persons interested may call 918-787-4692 or 918-787-1698.