CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - Eight-year-old Caelan Peabody has to start her stuffed animal collection all over. Her newest stuffed animal is a pink Angry Bird her mother bought her Monday morning.
Saturday night, many of Caelan's stuffed animals burned in a fire at Brentwood Self Storage off of George Washington Memorial Highway in Chesapeake. Next to her family's unit, the Bullock family rented a space.
"It hurts. It hurts bad considering it's Christmas and most everything that was in there was belongings that we can't replace," says Jerry Bullock.
Bullock says Saturday's fire stunned both him and his family. The night of the fire, Caelan's mother, Shelly, stood next to the Bullock's as they all watched their belongings burn.
"Obviously the grandma was very upset because all of the Christmas presents were destroyed," says Shelly.
Every Christmas present the Bullocks bought for their 4-year-old twin boys and their 11-year-old daughter were in their storage unit. Every gift burned in the fire.
"We struggled to get what we did have for the kids," says Jerry.
Even though Shelly and Caelan lost much of what they own in the devastation, they did not want to focus on their own loss. So, they decided to bring a little joy to the Bullocks.
"They shouldn't have to suffer and it takes some of the pain away from losing my stuff," says Shelly.
Shelly counted on Caelan to pick out the best gifts.
"I have a couple older cousins and a younger cousin, so I know what boys like," says Caelan.
Wrestling figurines for the boys and perfume for the Bullocks daughter are included in the gifts the Peabody's donated for the Bullocks.
Caelan says helping someone else have a good Christmas makes her feel "good." That is a something no fire can destroy.
"It's the holidays and that's what it's about," says Shelly.
The owners of Brentwood Self Storage tell WAVY.com, if you would like to donate any gifts to the Bullocks, you can drop them off, Wednesday, at the facility. If you drop them off before Wednesday, you can leave them with a security guard and they will make sure the family knows to pick them up.
The storage facility is in the 1400 block of George Washington Highway.
Investigators say heat lamps caused the fire that destroyed 32 units at Brentwood Self-Storage. They say a renter used the lamps to keep six non-venomous snakes warm.
Facility owners say it's against the rules to keep animals in any of the units. No word on if charges will be filed.
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