Firefighters Rescue Christmas for Boys Who Lost Home to Fire

Prince George's County firefighters stepped up to help a family who lost their home Wednesday

Friday, Dec 21, 2012  |  Updated 7:13 AM EDT
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Firefighters in Prince George's County go beyond the call of duty. Erika Gonzalez explains how they stepped in to help a family that lost everything just days before Christmas.

Erika Gonzalez

Firefighters in Prince George's County go beyond the call of duty. Erika Gonzalez explains how they stepped in to help a family that lost everything just days before Christmas.

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Prince George's County firefighters have stepped up to help a family who lost everything just days before Christmas.

Seven-year-old Antonio and his 10-year-old brother, Andrew, received a special delivery from the firefighters Thursday night: toys for Christmas.

The Hale family is staying at a hotel after a fire destroyed their Capitol Heights home Wednesday night.

"I want myself to get a new house," Antonio said.

The fire moved fast, and the boys, their mom and grandfather had just seconds to get out alive.

"I turned around and just heard footsteps and [someone] screaming, 'Get out of the house'," the boy's mother said. "I grabbed the kids [and] got out of the house."

Andrew chimed in softly: "I got scared. Tony was asleep."

"And he woke me up. He yanked my arm," his little brother said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but investigators said it started in the kitchen.

The Hales say that although the circumstances look grim, they're going to make sure this holiday season is a special one.

"Appreciate life. Appreciate life even if you don't have anything to give," the boy's mother said. "Put a smile on your face and keep moving.... Right now, we're living paycheck to paycheck. Who know the next step? Just keep striving and keep pushing."

The firefighters' surprise visit was greeted by big smiles from the boys.

"You like cars?" one firefighter asked Andrew.

"Thank you! Yes!" he replied enthusiastically.

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