Couple gives birth to baby same day as fire

November 3, 2011 10:00:00 PM PDT
A couple who lost nearly everything in a fire is gaining something life changing because of the traumatic blaze. This family's story is a reminder that sometimes tragedies can have happy endings.

At Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital, the couple is trying to forget about their mourning and to celebrate the joy they welcomed on Friday afternoon.

By Friday evening, crews were already tearing down the apartments with the worst damage. Cherished belongings were now just a pile of rubble.

Alan and Beth Hays managed to salvage some clothes and a 30-year-old photo. But not everyone was so lucky when fire consumed the building at the Place at Green Trails apartments. The woman who lived in the apartment where it started suffered severe burns and some residents lost everything.

"It just happened so fast," resident Ethan Xu.

But this isn't a story about loss. You see Stacy was 38 weeks pregnant, two weeks shy of her due date. The trauma of the fire and Maggie's death changed the young couple's plans.

"She couldn't take it; it was just hard on her," said Stacy's mother.

Almost 12 hours to the minute after being startled awake by fire, the Xus welcomed a baby girl -- 7 pounds 11 ounces and 20 inches long.

"She's beautiful; she's cute," Ethan said.

And, no, her name is not smoke or flame, it's Ariana.

"She is a spitfire though, has a temper," said Stacy's mother.

So while they are thinking about their neighbors who are suffering, Ethan cant help but smile when he looks down at little Ariana's footprints.

"It's a blessing," he said.

Mom is doing well. The young couple did lose a lot of their furniture and clothes as well as baby supplies in the fire.

The American Red Cross is now helping them and the dozens of others who also lost belongings.

Investigators believe the fire started when a woman with an oxygen tank was smoking.

We initially reported that Stacy and Ethan assumed their 14-year-old cat, Maggie, died in the blaze. But the good news continued for the couple on Saturday when their beloved pet was found alive and hiding in a pantry.

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