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Newborn saved from burning St. Pete home

A neighbor alerts sleeping family to the flames
Posted at 12:31 PM, Nov 23, 2016

Mark Kaigler believes he would have died in a house fire this morning if not for the quick actions of a neighbor.

"Gave her a hug and said thank you and I thank the Lord for her being there," Mark Kaigler told ABC Action News after escaping the flames on 53rd Avenue North in Lealman in Pinellas County.

Kaigler was asleep with his newborn baby, Marcen, when a fire broke out in the back side of his girlfriend's house. He says a neighbor noticed the smoke and flames and ran over to check on him and the family. 

That neighbor also called 911, and so firefighters were able to get there quick enough to save the house, which has damage to the back side and the deck, but otherwise is not a total loss.

Kaigler says the family will be celebrating Thanksgiving at his house instead on Thursday, and have so much to be thankful for, especially after such a close call.

Firefighters tell Kaigler the cause of the fire may have been electrical, as the origin appears to have been in the walls near where the home's heating system was installed.

The mother of the newborn was not home at the time of the fire. Kaigler's step-daughter was home and also escaped uninjured thanks to that neighbor.