Community gives toys to Union City house fire victims


When their home on San Pablo Way in Union City went up in flames, so did all thoughts of a happy holiday, but this is the Christmas season. There was so much loss, but it is being matched by so much giving.

People from all over Union City and Alameda County heard about Monday's fire and of course wanted to help.

Santa's sleigh looked a little different on Christmas Eve when a red fire truck pulled up on Polaris Avenue with a special delivery for one family. When the firefighters give the children toys, they had the first smiles on their faces since Monday when a fire ravaged their home.

There were 16 people, many who were visiting for the holidays, who lost everything including Christmas presents for five children. So the Alameda County Fire Department stepped in to help the family by starting a toy drive for them.

"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 Jason Fuller, an Alameda County firefighter.

All day long people stopped by fire stations to drop off toys and money, specifically for the family.

"If it happened to me I would like somebody to help me also. It's something nice to do, especially at Christmas," said Lily Reyna, a Hayward resident.

Seeing the home completely destroyed made people donate what they could. It brought Union City resident Carlos Norberto to tears. He told us, "It's just so sad. We've got so much. Even if I don't got much, they have less."

But on this Christmas Eve all of the loss is forgotten.

There is an even happier ending here. I let the family know that an ABC7 viewer contacted me and offered the family a few free nights at the new Hampton Inn at Union Landing.

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