Gardena Fire Station 158 puts out fire, then saves one family’s Christmas

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Members of Gardena Fire Station No. 158 were the epitome of the Christmas spirit when they presented a family, who lost almost everything in a fire, with Christmas gifts.  Capt. Jim Keehn’s crew responded to the fire and didn’t want the incident to be the end when they drove away from the family’s burned-out apartment.

 An electrical fire ripped through the family’s home on Dec. 11.

The family credits the mother seeing smoke coming from the garage and not opening the garage door in saving their lives.

Members of Gardena Fire Station No. 158 were the epitome of the Christmas spirit when they presented a family, who lost almost everything in a fire, with Christmas gifts.  Capt. Jim Keehn’s crew responded to the fire and didn’t want the incident to be the end when they drove away from the family’s burned-out apartment.

 An electrical fire ripped through the family’s home on Dec. 11.

The family credits the mother seeing smoke coming from the garage and not opening the garage door in saving their lives.

The parents and 7 children lived in a very small apartment and stored most of their belongings in the garage.  Everything in the garage burned, including toys and clothing, and everything in their apartment above the garage was smoke damaged. 

When their Gardena home went up in flames, so did all thoughts of a merry Christmas.  There was so much loss, but out of tragedy comes generosity, family members said.

The Gardena Chamber of Commerce director, who called the fire in, wanted to help and donated toys to make sure that the children had gifts to open, and Bible Baptist Church helped them with temporary housing. 

“With all the toys, we want to show them that not all is lost and there is a sense of community that people want to come together and help," said Wanda Love, Gardena Chamber director.  "If it happened to me I would like somebody to help me also. It's something nice to do, especially at Christmas.”

When the family came to Fire Station No. 158, Santa's sleigh looked a little different with a red fire engine, and which had a special delivery for one family. When Keehn and Capt. Jasmine Segura and their personnel gave the children toys, they had the biggest smiles on their faces since the fire had ravaged their home, fire officials said. 

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