Rockford Fire Department surprises family with Christmas gifts after their home was destroyed in fire

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- One local family lost everything in a house fire less than a month ago. Now, two of the first firefighter companies on scene of that fire are making sure the family is still able to have a happy holiday.

Jaime Rivas’s home where he lives with his three kids and his wife was destroyed in an electrical fire November 29. While Rivas says he's grateful no one was home and no one was hurt, it's still hard to deal with not being home for the holidays. He says things have been stressful after living in a hotel for several weeks and now an apartment and his kids just want to go home.

Thanks to the Rockford Fire Department, the Rivas family was surprised with gifts and a visit from Santa in hopes of making things just a little bit easier.

“It's really hard because we're tied up with a lot of stuff so we didn't have the funds after the fire. So with this coming through, with us knowing the fire department was going to come through and do this for us, this was a big help,” said Jaime Rivas.

“We're out all year long going to all the fires and we see the devastation it causes families and we like to help out when we can other than showing up and putting the fire out,” said Chad Moe, a firefighter/paramedic for the Rockford Fire Department.

The Rockford Fire Department is helping a total of 12 families this holiday season.