Fire destroys everything soon-to-be parents own; Wildwood community responds

In Wildwood, 20 people are out of their homes after an early morning fire destroyed their apartment building.

Among those fire victims are soon-to-be new parents who lost just about everything. And, an entire community is coming together to help.

Left with nothing but the clothes on their backs, Brianna Armstrong and her husband, Angel Moreno Mercedes, say they are happy they made it out of the burning building alive after seeing images of the fire.

"He opened the door and the whole porch was on fire," Brianna described the scene.

The Wildwood couple were married just last week. Hours after their Sunday afternoon baby shower, fire broke out at their East Juniper Avenue apartment. Everything inside was destroyed, including all the baby shower gifts.

Then a social media post asking for help for the couple took off. Instead of making deliveries, deliveries were coming to Santucci’s Pizza in the form of donations. The shop is four houses away from the fire scene and it’s also where Angel works as a cook. Owner Jim Burke says his post showed just how quickly a community can come together.

"Overwhelming response about how can we help, how can we give," Burke said. "I have this, I have that. It’s nice to know people care."

Strangers stopped by offering donations to the couple who spent the day at the hospital making sure their baby is okay.

Jennifer Lebold, of North Wildwood, explained, "She just had her baby shower yesterday and to wake up to not have anything, it just tugged at my heart. We just knew we had to do something."

They now have a temporary place to stay for a few weeks while waiting for a permanent apartment. Speaking little English, Angel’s gratitude is easy to translate. He said, "Make me happy. Thank you so much."

"It’s crazy that people care," Brianna continued. "Sounds crazy, but having people do this is very nice."