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’I’m happy to be alive’: Pregnant woman who barely escaped Houston house fire speaks from hospital

HOUSTON – Stefanie Ekine lost everything to a fire early Wednesday morning.

Ekine, who is eight months pregnant, said the family was staying in a rental home and was barely able to escape the flames. She’s now being treated in the hospital for smoke inhalation.

“I have carbon monoxide, according to doctors, in my lungs and my unborn child’s lungs,” Ekine said. “So, they said they’re going to monitor me for a couple of days just to make sure my lungs are clear and her lungs are clear so I don’t have a pre-labor.”

Ekine said she is also concerned about her mother, sister, one-year-old daughter and the family dog. They’re staying in a hotel right now.

“I don’t care what I’ve lost," Ekine said. "I’ve lost various things. I even lost a car, but I’m happy to be alive. I’m grateful.”

The family dog, 8-year old Oscar, is doing well. He was rescued from the home by firefighters but also suffered smoke inhalation.

“I went to the vet, but they said I had to pay, upfront, $1,800, which I didn’t have because he has so much going on with him," Ekine said. "(Smoke) filled his lungs and they’re trying to get it out. He’s coughing blood and sneezing blood.”

Ekine said his health, her medical expenses and the family’s search for a new home has now forced her to start a GoFundMe account to help with all the unexpected costs.

“If people are going to help that’s good," Ekine said. “I don’t where to go from here but I do know there’s a plan that God has waiting on me, that he has in store.”

Ekine is hopeful to be released from the hospital by Sunday.

She said the cause of the fire was determined to be electric.