PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- Fire raced through back of Mark Kaigler's home in St. Petersburg early Wednesday morning.
The day before Thanksgiving.
Just four days earlier, he and his girlfriend had celebrated the birth of their newborn son.
And yet, despite the timing, and challenges brought on by the fire, Kaigler could not be more grateful.
That's because at about 2 o'clock Wednesday morning, Kaigler had just fed his newborn son and fallen asleep in his bed.
The child's mother had gone back to the hospital hours earlier with a small complication related to the child's birth.
Suddenly, Kaigler was awakened by his stepdaughter's crying, loud banging at the door, and the smell of smoke - which was filling the house rapidly.
The knocking, it turns out, was a neighbor who had seen an orange glow through her kitchen window, and was warning the family that a fire had broken out in the back of the house.
Kaigler was able to get out alive. Along with his newborn son and step daughter.
When he returned from the hospital hours after the fire had been put out, he thanked his neighbor for helping save their lives.
The family had been planning to have Thanksgiving at the house, and will now have to find someplace else to do so.
But that's okay, said Kaigler - who feels he has plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
(© 2017 WTSP)