But it was too much for Laura.
Campbell's tractor, hooked up to a 530-gallon water tank and a high-pressure sprayer, was sitting at his farm next door. It would have saved the house.
"The most troubling part of Sunday was the feeling of helplessness, knowing that the tractor was there and we could not use it to fight the fire," Freeth said. "It was just a horrible feeling of helplessness."
Later, a group of Chimbambira's men drove past with the tractor and water tank, trawling slowly back and forth as the house burned, but doing nothing to help.
"You just feel angry," Freeth said. "We couldn't see their laughter. But we could feel it."
'It doesn't belong to Mike Campbell'
When Chimbambira and his men took over Campbell's farm, they defied an order by Southern Africa's highest court, the Southern African Development Community tribunal, that Campbell and other farmers shouldn't be evicted.
In the phone interview, Chimbambira initially claimed that he took Campbell's land because government officials gave him the deed. Later in the interview, he said he was managing the property for an official with the ruling ZANU-PF party, Nathan Shamuyayira.
"It doesn't belong to Mike Campbell," said Chimbambira, describing Campbell and his family as "dangerous." He denied any role in the fires that burned the two homes and said he saw the Campbell house start to burn.
"I started seeing some smoke coming from the windows in the house. That's all I know. Nothing was left except some of the things which we managed to pull out -- the television and some sofas."
Freeth says his wife received a call from one of Chimbambira's workers claiming to have seen Chimbambira set the house alight.
"There's no witness like that," Chimbambira said.
He said he wouldn't recognize the SADC tribunal ruling, only the Zimbabwean government.
"We are not in SADC. We are Zimbabwe," he said. "In Zimbabwe we have got laws. Me, I follow what I have been told by my government."
He used to grow potatoes on a 160-acre farm in another part of the country, but has no knowledge of Campbell's crops: mangoes and citrus. His plan for the 3,000-acre farm: plant potatoes.
When I visited Freeth's home in May, I took a stroll with him to the edge of Campbell's farm and saw a tractor reaping mangoes. Chimbambira's men gave chase, shouting threats.
"Come here! I'll shoot you. I'll cut your neck."
In the phone interview, Chimbambira even remembered the clothes I was wearing.