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NC Firefighters Surprise Family Who Lost Everything in House Fire

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A group of North Carolina firefighters surprised a Greensboro family after they lost “everything” in a townhouse fire three days before Christmas.

According to Fox News, the fire department visited the family of five and brought $2,500 in Walmart gift cards to the family. 

According to a Friday Facebook post by former Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Cockman, six stations contributed to the gift cards.

Fire Burns Up House, Christmas Gifts

Last week, a fire destroyed a Greensboro family’s home on Greenbriar Road. The mother, father, and three children (ages 3, 4, and 12) lost everything in the blaze, including the family dog and Christmas gifts. 

Mom Crystal Givens found out about the fire after taking her husband to the hospital for a work injury. When she got home, the family saw her townhouse on fire.

“The first thing I thought about was ‘let me get my dog.’ But when we called her name, and she didn’t answer, I already knew she was gone because I couldn’t even see her cage when I opened the door,” Givens told Fox 8.

In Cockman’s video, Greensboro Fire Department Captain Ken Lilly said the firefighters “felt in the Christmas spirit to get everybody in the battalion to participate in a fundraising for the family, and… we’ve done the best we could with that.”

On top of everything, the family’s patriarch broke his foot on the same day of the fire.

Cockman said the firefighters and “a few private donors” came up with more than $2,500 for the family. He thanked the organization and said that while the story was sad, the spirit of Christmas and giving back still exists in the world.

One Facebook commenter applauded the firefighters charitable effort, saying, “Thank you, GFD for being so kind, thoughtful, and helpful. You have put a smile on these people’s faces and God’s face also. Great story indeed.”

Family Grateful For Gift

Crystal Givens admitted to Fox 8 that, before the gift, she felt pretty low.

She “cried” when she learned about the gift and was on the way to meeting the firefighters. The group had worked to comfort the family after the tragedy.

Givens said she lost everything but her faith, but “that’s what’s keeping me going right now.”

Lilly told the TV station that the firefighters see “a lot of tragedy” and “a lot of negative stuff,” but “feel better” when they can come together and help out in the community.

The Greensboro Fire Department Captain said he hoped the donation would get the Givens family through the Christmas season and give them “a fresh start because they lost everything.”

Givens said her family is also trying to raise money on GoFundMe.