By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A south St. Paul family is counting their blessings after an unfortunate trip to the hospital for their newborn was followed by their home going up in flames, and a GoFundMe set up to assist them has already more than doubled the amount friends hoped to raise.

Zach and Meghan Estes were told that if they were home when the fire started, they would not have survived.

“All of our memories in there are gone, but we could’ve become a memory,” Zach said.

“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know, it’s just unbelievable how much damage there is,” Meghan said. “Thank God we weren’t in there. Police and nobody in there would have made it out of their alive.”

The couple had just welcomed Everly to the family Friday, who was released from the hospital Saturday. They were all settling in when their newborn began experiencing problems.

“She was waking up, and I went to grab her and she started choking and quit breathing, so we had called 911 instantly, we got rushed to the hospital,” Zach said.

They sat with Everly all night. They were not expecting any more bad news, then they got a call from a neighbor the next morning.

“Saying our house was up in flames, and we had our animals inside, and thank God we weren’t in there,” Zach said.

Everly not only helped save Mom and Dad, but siblings Makena, 2, and Ky, 9.

“[Our neighbor] is our guardian angel, seriously. We wouldn’t be here today it wasn’t for her,” Meghan said.

Neighbors are also doing what they can to help the family get back on their feet.

“With all the bad stuff going on in the world, it’s so nice to see everybody coming together to help us through the toughest time of our lives,” Zach said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Estes family. Organizers were hoping to raise $10,000, but as of Thursday they’ve already raised more than double that amount.

Reg Chapman