NEWPORT BEACH ( —  Two L.A. firefighters working at the same station, on the same shift and living in the same neighborhood have now added to the growing list of their similarities.

The men have just welcomed their first-born daughters on the same day – at the same hospital, just 19 hours apart.

Ian Van Gerpen and Eric Mattson sat down with CBS2/KCAL9’s Michele Gile as they held their two-day-old girls at a Newport Beach hospital.

“We work on the same shift. And obviously now both have our first daughters on the same day. Same hospital. We live in the same complex,” Mattson and Van Gerpen said.

Mary Mattson was 10 days late but came just in time to celebrate with her soon-to-be buddy, Dorothy, who was delivered a week-and-a-half early.

The men were thrilled when they realized their wives had both checked into the hospital and were placed just two rooms from each other.

“They pulled into the parking structure, and [I said], ‘Hey, there’s their car.’ Kind of a coincidence… small world,” Van Gerpen recalled.

There’s an unwritten rule among firefighters that those who appear on TV have to buy ice cream for the crew.

“We’re probably trying to come back on the same day so we can split the cost,” Mattson said.

“Eric’s an accounting major, so he’s really cheap,” Van Gerpen laughed.

Plans are already in the works for the girls’ first birthdays.

The families plan to celebrate together in the neighborhood clubhouse in Huntington Beach, where both live.


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