MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — A man says he’s blessed to be alive after his house caught fire and that it was his guns exploding in the fire that woke him up.
“I heard what I thought was loud gunshots so I jumped up, went to my bedroom door and when I opened it, a cloud of smoke hit me,” Eric DeLauretis said.
DeLauretis broke a window to get out of his burning home overnight at 6752 Chaffin Street.
“I thought it was an intruder and that’s what the guy said, that normally only 10 percent live, and I’m one of those that the gun this time actually saved my life just by exploding,” he said.
His two small children live with him half of the time and he’s thankful they weren’t there.
“I have 50/50 custody,” he said. “I get them Monday through Monday and they went back yesterday morning which was a blessing.”
Emily DeLauretis is one of his older children.
“We were raised in this house and this is the only house we knew our whole life,” Emily said.
She’s helping them with a GoFundMe that has raised nearly $700 in one day. She says their immediate need is clothing.
“They have lost almost all of their belongings,” Emily said. “There is really very minimal items that are able to be salvaged.”
Eric said he couldn’t get full homeowners insurance because of the type of wiring in his home. He said the fire started in the kitchen area but he never cooked Monday. He was resting before going into work at 5 a.m. He bought the house when he was 18 years old and he just turned 40 recently.
Despite losing nearly everything, they’re staying positive and hoping for help.
“I feel like I’ve lost my whole life laying in that living room…but everything happens for a reason,” Eric said.
“And it takes a village.. we’ll get there,” Emily added.
If you would like to donate clothing, the sizes are below:
Man 33/33 pants, medium and large shirts