By Alicia Neaves
ALPINE - If it weren't for one UPS man being at the right place at the right time, a Good Samaritan starting a fundraiser for strangers and a generous community donating mounds of belongings, one Alpine family would be left with nothing.
Nine minutes is all it took for a home on Fort Davis Street in Alpine to be completely destroyed.
"There's a series of five or six events that happened that day that led me to be at that house at the exact right time," Shannon Morrow, UPS worker and Alpine resident, said.
Shannon changed up his route on Friday, landing him at 1503 Fort Davis Street at the exact time the fire started.
"They were asleep when I showed up so if I hadn't of knocked on the door, there is a very good chance that they wouldn't have made it out. I don't know if I would have seen the fire when I went by if I didn't actually have a package for them that day," Morrow said.
The two inside the home, Rusty Hill and his "Auntie" Wileen Austin made it out alive. Rusty was transported to the hospital with burns to his arm.
"We did a prayer for him to get better," Bricen Edgington, son of Stephanie Weeks, who started the fundraiser, said.
Bricen and his family started a fundraiser to help Rusty and his "Auntie" Wileen get back on their feet.
"We saw how bad it was and when my son, Christopher, he said, 'Well mom if that happened to us, what would we do?' And that got me thinking, what can we do?" Stephanie Weeks, Alpine resident who started the fundraiser, said.
They held a bake sale on Sunday morning. In just hours, they raised over $3,500.
"People won't just pay you one dollar for a cookie. They'll throw in a five or twenty," Weeks said.
Donations came flooding in from the community. A church donated clothes, shoes, bibles and more.
"...An entertainment center, a TV, a futon, I mean it's just been an outpour," Weeks said.
Even donations from outside the State of Texas helped bring their goal of $10,000 to nearly the halfway point after just one day. But the efforts of the Alpine community aren't finished yet.
"I hope you get better soon," Bricen said, as a message to Rusty Hill.
Stephanie says they are also in the process of getting a storage unit donated to the family to house all of the belongings given to them by the community. It's not too late for you to still donate as well. We've posted all the information you need to know