"I was in the bathroom, and smelled (something) burning," Zhong recalled. "When I opened the bathroom door, I saw a big fire."
Zhong immediately awoke his girlfriend and fetched water to try to put the fire out. The neighbours brought extinguishers and the fire was put out soon.
Later, instead of running away from the wreckage in the house, the couple began taking smiling selfies in their pyjamas, and even recorded a video of blessings for the New Year.
"We wish you the best in the new year," the couple said in the video, their faces appearing black due to the smoke.
The video immediately trended on WeChat and microblog Sina Weibo. The Weibo topic "Couple's selfies in burnt house" has received more than 10 million hits. Many netizens dubbed them "the funniest couple in history".
Zhong and his girlfriend run a noodle restaurant in Guilin, a popular tourist destination in south China.
"We met each other at a birthday party and were impressed by each other's sense of humour," Zhong said. "We like presenting our lives in a positive, humorous way."
In the video, Zhong also cautioned the public about the dangers of fire.
"It is important to prevent fires in winter," Zhong said as he sits in the burnt couch. "In addition, it is important to face up to life difficulties with a smile."
Zhong said that the fire could have been caused by a heater, an item widely used in Guilin during cold, humid winter.
The couple was invited to visit the local fire department to learn about fire prevention.
"Our experience will help raise public awareness of fire risks," Zhong said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)