Hawkeye couple loses home to house fire weeks before baby is due

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:35 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A couple in Fayette County has to start over after losing everything in a house fire just weeks before they’re due to have a baby.

It should be an exciting time for Jake Eitel and Shelby Holland who are due to welcome a baby girl in the coming weeks. But the couple has faced a series of hard times, including losing their home and nearly everything inside.

“I look at the door going out in the garage and all I saw was nothing but flames,” Eitel said.

”I finally just made the decision, I’m like we’ve got to get out of here now you know because it’s coming, smoke is coming in the kitchen black just black smoke is pouring in the kitchen,” Eitel added.

”I ran out with no shoes on. My dog luckily followed me out,” said Holland.

A passerby stopped and helped call 911 since their phones were left inside the house. While the couple waited for help they say they watched their home burn.

“You’d just do anything. I think we were throwing snowballs at it. It sounds silly but you would just do anything to make it go out,” said Holland.

They had hoped to bring their baby girl home to the house which sits on a farm that’s been in Eitel’s family for generations.

“I had my room all painted purple, like a real light purple and everything,” Holland explained.

Now they’re starting from scratch as they prepare to grow their family. The hardship comes after what’s been a tough couple of months. Eitel just lost his mom.

“She passed away the day before Thanksgiving and then I had an emergency appendectomy 30 weeks pregnant, they had to take me down to Iowa City. And so I have been recovering from the emergency appendectomy and then this happens not even a month later,” said Holland.

A Go Fund Me is raising money to help the couple in what’s been unimaginable times. More than $1,500 has been raised so far.

“Words can’t even describe the amount of appreciation and how much, how thankful we are for all the people who have helped us and reached out so far,” said Holland.

The couple believes a heat lamp in their garage that was plugged in to help keep some kittens warm may have caused the blaze. The Hawkeye Fire Chief says the fire is still under investigation.