KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A family of six is homeless after a fire next door gutted their house as well.
The fire happened early Monday morning near 27th and Grove streets. Ryan Coleman and his partner, Rachael Love, were fast asleep as a massive fire raged next door. A loud knock at their house woke them up.
"If he hadn't, I don't know if we'd be here," Coleman said.
Coleman said their early-morning angel was an off-duty cop, who saw the smoke and fast-moving fire and got his family out.
"The blinds were melted, and there was a wall of fire in front of the windows, and [I] had to just force my way through the heat to get down," Coleman said.
In just more than an hour, the vacant house next door was gone, and his family's home was left ravaged.
Three kids, a granddaughter, and the couple are now scattered at family member homes until they can find a new place to live. Friends, neighbors and total strangers have been rallying to raise thousands on a GoFundMe site, donating items to their youngest son's school, and more. They're also grateful to firefighters who went above and beyond.
Fire crews told them in just two minutes time, if they hadn't escaped they could've been trapped. Now, the family is saving what they can and hoping to find the mystery officer who saved them.
"The love was, is, and has been, and will be what's kind of keeping us upright," Coleman said.
In addition to their Go Fund Me page, cash and gift card donations are also being collected at Academie Lafayette, where the youngest child attends school.
The family says they've also learned two valuable lessons: make sure you have renters insurance coverage and install smoke alarms in attic spaces. If they would've had detectors in the attic, they believe they might've escaped sooner.
While the cause of the fire is still being investigated, the family is certain of one thing. They've never been more thankful to call Kansas City home.
"There's no real way to express how grateful we are," Coleman said. "Not just obviously for our lives, but to all the people that helped us."