How do you replace Chip and Joanna Gaines? Well, you can’t — but HGTV is certainly trying to fill the void left by the beloved duo with a new show called Fixer to Fabulous. The series follows husband and wife team Dave and Jenny Marrs as they renovate homes in northwest Arkansas.
Like Fixer Upper, it features a go-to carpenter who takes on special projects. For the Marrs, that man is Chase Looney. After getting numerous questions about why he wears an eyepatch, the father of two wrote a blog post detailing the accident that caused him to lose his left eye.
What happened to Chase on Fixer to Fabulous?
The handyman, who also worked as a firefighter for many years, revealed that he was seriously injured just days after filming the Fixer to Fabulous pilot back in 2017. It was Fourth of July and Chase helped set up the fireworks display.
A storm was coming, so the group decided to light a series of large 3” mortars before the rain hit. After lighting the fourth one, Chase explained that he rushed to get the fifth mortar off the ground. "I believe the concussion from the fourth tube exploding tipped the fifth tube over after I had just lit it," he wrote.
"When the explosion went off, I remember everything stopped," Chase continued. "There was a deafening boom, a burst of light, and in the chaos of that moment everything around me slowed down."
The horrific event left Chase with irreparable damage to his eye and face.
Chase said he was rushed to the hospital in Bentonville, Ark., but doctors quickly determined that he needed to be airlifted to a different facility in Springfield, Mo. Due to the bad weather, he was instead transferred by ambulance and underwent eight hours of surgery once he arrived.
"The following days in the hospital, I was given the news that I lost my eye. That it would have to be removed. That I might not have movement in the left side of my face and that the scarring would be permanent," Chase recalled.
During that difficult time, the Marrs visited him. They brought his wife Chelsie some essentials so that she wouldn’t have to leave his side. "They joked with me and told me that whatever happens I have nothing to worry about," Chase shared.
"I told them, 'I don’t think I have the face for TV anymore.' Through tears and laughter they reassured me I never had a face for TV anyway."
Two years later, Chase chooses to focus on the positives. "I now often joke about being a guy with one eye and encourage others to joke with me," he said.
"Because as unnatural as it sounds, I am thankful for the beautiful lesson and message God sent me in this tragic accident," he added. "July 4, 2017 was the day God [intervened] and took my eye so that I could see." You really can't get any more optimistic than that.
Is Chase still on 'Fixer to Fabulous'?
Since Chase has become such a staple on Fixer to Fabulous, his absence is sorely felt whenever he doesn't appear in an episode of the show. But don't worry — he's not going anywhere! Although he may take an episode off from time to time, Chase is still very much part of the Fixer to Fabulous family.
New episodes of Fixer to Fabulous air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.