Blind man rebuilds life after losing everything in fire

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The community is rallying around a blind man who lost everything in a fire last month.

Neil Kuhlman didn't even know his building was on fire when a neighbor came banging on his door right as he was going to bed. That fire destroyed his and all the units in the building, and a little of his independence.

"I ran, got my clothes on, and grabbed my phone and came out," Kuhlman told Eyewitness News.

Within minutes, this fire wiped out Neal Kuhlman's condo on Jeanetta Drive, along with all he owned.

"It's been pretty stressful. I'm having to borrow money from relatives to find a place to stay," he said.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Neighbors help blind man escape fire


Eyewitness News caught up with Neil at his extended stay hotel Tuesday. He was born blind. He didn't have a lot, but was proud of the upgrades he'd been able to get in the last six months -- a new smart TV that he could give instructions, a new stereo, but most importantly, a brand new Apple computer.

"There are a lot of apps especially designed for blind people, so the computer was a pretty big deal," he explained. "I would say as far as being connected to the outside world, it was."

Neil told Eyewitness News he didn't have renter's insurance to replace all that he lost.
"We were looking at a policy. We already had a quote on a policy that was supposed to go into effect on Feb. 1, so we missed it just by a day."

PHOTOS: 2-alarm fire breaks out at condos in SW Houston
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He set up a GoFundMe to ask his community for help getting his life back together. Neighbors posted flyers around his neighborhood pushing his GoFundMe. As great as his neighbors have been, he tells us this last few weeks has been hard.

"Having just purchased so many new items, it was kind of depressing."

His landlord said it'll take at least six months to rebuild. He's not sure if he'll move back.

"I am a Christian, so I think maybe the lord had something in mind for this. I don't know what yet, but I just keep on going."

Click here to donate money to help Kuhlman rebuild.

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fireapartment fireHouston
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