(Photo: Screen Grab via KLTV)
A father and husband from Chapel Hill, Texas, is now giving thanks for his terrible snoring problem because he believes it was the reason his whole family woke up in the nick of time shortly after midnight, just before a raging fire burnt their house to the ground.
"I use a CPAP machine because I have sleep apnea and I guess I started snoring, and I woke my wife up," explained Bobby Hester in a KLTV report. "She said 'turn on your machine.'"
Hester said he tried turning on the machine and soon realized that there was no electricity on one side of the house. He then tried fixing the circuit breakers but his wife, Dixie Hester, realized that it was no longer dark in the house and checked on it.
"She walked back into the dining room and she said she saw a bright glow in the yard," said Hester. "She opened the mini-blinds and it was very clear something wasn't right, so we both came out the front door and the house was on fire at the top of the house."
The couple quickly grabbed their daughter Hannah, 14, from her bedroom and ran to the front of the house with their dog and cat in tow.
"The house burned very, very quickly it seemed," said Hester, who was only able to save a few family heirlooms.
"It saddens my heart, but after a while you realize it's just stuff, and the most important thing is we're still intact."
The family stayed with a neighbor Tuesday morning, and more than 50 people have donated to them since then.
"So many people have come to help us and offered help in any kind of way; clothes, money donations," said Hester. "I just want to say to them I really do appreciate all of their generosity, and it's heartfelt."
In a Facebook post on Friday, Dixie Hester also thanked everyone who helped her family for their support.
"I want to thank you all for your prayers, donations and the support you have given Bob, Hannah and I. It has truly helped us make it through this ordeal," she wrote in part.
She also highlighted how grateful she is that her family is alive despite their loss.
"It saddens me when I think about the house and our loss, but I am still so abundantly full of happiness and joy. I have my family and you're right that is what's important. Houses and belongs [sic] can be replaced," she said.
An account has been set up for the family at the Altra Federal Credit Union. Donations can be made to the Hester benefit fund in both Tyler, Texas, locations. American State Bank in Tyler has also set up a fund. Donations can be made at the Horseshoe Club Lake fire fund for Bobby and Dixie Hester. A softball tournament and cookout, with proceeds going to the Hester family, is also planned. The tournament starts Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Chapel Hill little league field.