ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – A St. Petersburg family who lost nearly all of their belongings in a fire that tore through their home received a heartwarming gift this Thanksgiving.
Firefighters from St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue treated the DeJesus family to a turkey dinner with all the fixings on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s amazing,” Jason DeJesus said. “It truly is.”
They are the same firefighters who battled the flames at the family’s home on Saturday, but unfortunately, they weren’t able to put out the fire in time. The family managed to escape, including their two young children, Jason Jr. who is 2 years old and Arianna who is 7.
Jason’s wife, Sofia, woke up to the sound of glass breaking and sprang into action.
“I woke up, got the kids out within minutes,” she said. “Everything just came down.”
“Something so close to the holidays,” said Lt. Richard Feinberg. “It just really hit home. We wanted to do something for them. They seemed like they were struggling. We just wanted to help out.”
Jason, Jr. is pretty shy, but Sofia came to the fire station ready to eat.
“Pumpkin pie,” she said. When I asked if that was her favorite, she said, “yes.” What else I asked her? “Shrimp,” she said.
But then I asked her about turkey. “Yes,” she said again.
Now, both the family and firefighters are giving thanks together and expressing gratitude everyone is OK.
“We’re just glad I have my kids and everyone’s safe,” Sofia said. “All the other stuff we can replace, but not them.”
“Yeah, it’s been tough but day by day,” Jason said. “One foot after the next.”
Since the fire, the family has been staying with friends and at hotels until they can find a permanent place to call home.
Firefighters also plan to treat the family to Christmas dinner and give gifts to the family’s two children.