Schofield soldier's pregnant wife escapes from burning home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Schofield soldier's pregnant wife escapes from burning home

Channing Chandler Channing Chandler
Lindsey Chandler Lindsey Chandler
The now charred room that was originally prepared for Channing's unborn son The now charred room that was originally prepared for Channing's unborn son
Channing with her husband, Brian Chandler Channing with her husband, Brian Chandler

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

MILILANI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A pregnant woman and her sister-in-law are safe after an overnight fire destroyed a Mililani home. They were asleep when the fire started and woke up when they smelled smoke. This setback comes just a few days after Channing Chandler's husband, a soldier stationed at Schofield Barracks, departed for Afghanistan.

"As soon as we opened the bedroom door to see what was happening with the rest of the house, the smoke just instantly hit us in the face," said Channing Chandler.

Chandler, 20, and her sister-in-law ran out of the burning home. They watched helplessly as the flames scorched their belongings.

"Panicking. I was terrified. I was scared. I was going through an emotional wreck," said Chandler's sister-in-law, Lindsey Chandler.

Firefighters rushed to the three-bedroom house on Apele Street around 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Channing is six-and-a-half months pregnant. She had prepared a special room for her unborn son.

"It was set with a crib and the chair, and she decorated the walls with dinosaurs. It was coming together so nicely and it was so cute," said Lindsey Chandler.

Channing's husband, Private Brian Chandler, left on Friday for a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. His sister, Lindsey, decided to stay in the Mililani home for awhile to help out. Channing briefly spoke to her husband after the fire.

"He dealt with all the financial things and he was my best friend. He was everything. It's just been very hard," said Channing Chandler.

The women suspect the fire may have started near the refrigerator which had been having problems, but fire investigators have not yet determined the cause. They will return to the home on Thursday. The total damage is estimated at $350,000.

Channing is grateful for the community support, but said she still feels overwhelmed.

"There's millions of things that need to be done. Honestly, I can't tell you that I feel like I can do it by myself or that I'm strong enough," she said.

The Red Cross is assisting the family. The caretaker for the rental home also set up a special fund for Channing and her unborn son who will be named Connor. You can make a donation at any Bank of Hawaii branch. The check should be made payable to "Friends of Connor."

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly