-- Newlyweds in Texas are rebuilding their lives after a fire burned down their home -- just 20 hours before they welcomed their son into the world.
Chad and Leslie Hunt, of Hitchcock, Texas, were out to dinner Saturday night, celebrating their two-year dating anniversary and one-month wedding anniversary, when they got a phone call from a friend that their apartment was on fire.
“I thought it was a joke but realized it was real,” Chad Hunt, 24, told ABC News. “We were focused on getting home and getting our dog, but by the time we got there it was too late.”
The couple’s dog died and they lost all of their belongings in the electrical fire that started in the ceiling of the apartment below theirs and shot straight up into the nursery they had spent months creating for their then-unborn son.
“We just had what we were wearing and had go-bags packed for the hospital and that’s it,” said Hunt.
As the couple stood outside their home speaking with firefighters and Red Cross officials, Leslie’s water broke.
The couple raced to the hospital and, after 20 hours of labor, Leslie, 21, gave birth to a 7 lb. son they named Casey.
“I think that if she would have gone into labor earlier and she had been at home with the baby, all three of us would have died,” Chad said. “It really is a blessing that it happened while we were out.”
The family of three is now staying in a room in Leslie’s mother’s house while they try to find a new place to live.
With no homeowners’ insurance, the couple is starting completely over, according to Chad, who works for a local air conditioning company.
Despite the circumstances, he says, they have been touched by the generosity of others.
“Randomly people stopped by the hospital with clothes for us and clothes for the baby so we have stuff to make do for right now,” he said. “I’d like to say thank you to everyone and their generosity.”
Friends have also started a GoFundMe page for the family. Donations have soared to above $6,000 in just the two days since it was created.
“It’s such a blessing to have all this help,” Chad said. “It could have been a lot worse."