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'Our entire community was gone' | Aggie couple loses home to Colorado wildfire days before baby's due date

With an Aggie army at their back, donations have poured in from across the country, arranged by Stephen’s friends from the Texas A&M Aggie Band.

HOUSTON, Texas — The baby books and animal blanket were the finishing touches, the last bit of love poured into their very first nursery. 

“Placed the mobile in the crib, last stuffed animal on the rocker," Stephen Wenzel said. 

The next day, it was all gone.

“Getting your baby’s world ready for it, and that world was rocked very quickly," Stephen said. 

Through the suffocating smoke of the Marshall wildfire in Colorado, Wenzel rushed home to his pregnant wife Savannah.

“The thought that was going through my mind driving down that ridgeline to the neighbor is, 'Dear God, I hope my baby is going to be okay. I hope that my wife will get out okay, that we can get her out.'"

Blinded by the fire and fear, he made it home. Minutes later, they were out. 

“Later on that night, it was confirmed that our entire community was gone," Stephen said. 

The Marshall Fire engulfed the entire life they’d just built. 

“Your undershirts to your socks, to your plates and knives, your pillow, I mean everything. But yeah, it’s the sentimental stuff that’s the hardest for sure."

All of this happened just days before Savannah is due to give birth.

“The hospital that we were scheduled to deliver at is no more. It’s closed indefinitely due to damage," Stephen said.

So the couple is back home in College Station, giving their baby a safe place to be born. 

 “We will welcome her any day now. But it was just people, things, the universe was watching out for us that day," Stephen said.

 And the Wenzels soon found out, they aren’t in this alone. 

“The least we could do was just raise five or ten thousand dollars for them, just something to get by, and it just took off from there," friend George Sinclair said. 

With an Aggie army at their back, donations have poured in from across the country, arranged by Stephen’s friends from the Aggie Band.

"I have had the honor of knowing the Wenzels for 10 years now. From our early college days, the Wenzels were always the first to lend a helping hand and open their doors to all," said Chris Martin, who started a gofundme.com account for the couple.

"It really restores your faith in humanity and gives you such an optimistic outlook that when life does throw curveballs at you, that there will be people there to help you and there is a sense of good," Stephen said. 

A sense of good in a world that will very soon welcome their baby girl. 

If you'd like to help, here's the link for the Wentzel's gofundme.com account.

   

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram