Neighbor helps family with newborn escape fire

A St. Pete family is scrambling to put the pieces back together.

A St. Petersburg family with a brand-new baby is trying to figure out where they will spend this Thanksgiving after an early-morning fire raced through part of their home.

And yet, they couldn’t be more grateful.

As we were speaking with neighbors, Mark Kaigler came walking up the driveway, and gave his neighbor Gloria Rock a big hug.

“I want to thank you, ma'am,” said Kaigler.

“Oh, you're welcome,” said Rock.

“You saved our lives. Because I was in there sleeping with the baby,” he said.

“You're welcome.”

Early Wednesday morning, Kaigler was sleeping next to his newborn son, Marcen, who is only 4 days old.
He had fed the baby and nodded off when suddenly, Kaigler's stepdaughter ran in, crying.

There was also banging at the door. The house was filling with smoke.

“If that lady would not have knocked on the door, I would've still been sound asleep, and before I know it that fire would've been in on us,” said Kaigler.

Kaigler showed 10News WTSP where an electrical fire had gotten into the back wall of the house just a few feet away from where he and his newborn son had been sleeping.

“That's my little heart there,” he said, showing us a picture of the baby.

 

 

Talk about lucky.

At about two in the morning, Rock just happened to wake up and just happened to look right through the kitchen window of her house.

She saw the deck next door glowing, and realized it was on fire.

“So, I grab my phone, call 911, ran over and bang on their doors,” said Rock. “It's your neighbor, you know, you do what you need to do. It's your neighbor.”

 

 

“Immediately I went back in there, wrapped my baby up, and told her -- my stepdaughter -- let's go!” said Kaigler.

And even though this Thanksgiving will now have to take place someplace else, Kaigler couldn't be more grateful.

And for his neighbor, of course.

“I thank the Lord for her being next door,” he said.

But also for his family. And for his life.

“Still here,” said Kaigler. “By the grace of God.”


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