Kentuckiana families that lost homes to fires receive gifts from - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentuckiana families that lost homes to fires receive gifts from Santa, the Red Cross and local firefighters union

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Christmas came early for more than 100 Kentuckiana families Monday night after a very difficult 2017.

The Louisville chapter of the Red Cross, along with the Louisville Professional Firefighters Union, hosted their 31st annual holiday party. Children under the age of 12 who lost their belongings to a fire in 2017 attended the event with their families.

“We lost everything,” said Lacey Solis, who attended the party with her three children.

The Solis family lost their home to an electrical fire last January. 

“Christmas was just two weeks before it, so they lost their Christmas, their toys ... we had to just start over,” Solis said.

Volunteers and firefighters with Local Union 345 bought gifts with their own money -- many of those firefighters were the same people who saved the children’s lives months earlier.

"It’s a way to somehow make it a little bit better on the other end, so we really appreciate being able to see these families again and try to help them out,” said Brian O’Neill, a member of the Louisville Professional Firefighters Union. “We wish nobody was burnt out of their homes, and we wish we didn’t have to come here and do this. We look forward to a day when this no longer happens.”

Santa himself made an appearance to hand out the gifts. Instead of arriving in his red sleigh, he arrived with Mrs. Claus in a red fire truck with lights and sirens blaring.

Monday night was also a way to raise awareness about the increased incidents of house fires during the holiday season. The Red Cross will bring and install smoke detectors free of charge to families that request them.

“People are starting to heat their homes and using alternative sources, so people need to make sure they are doing that safely,” said Jennifer Adrio with the American Red Cross.

The Solis family is now getting back on the their feet and looking forward to 2018 but not before thanking those who helped them this year.

“We definitely appreciate it,” Solis said.

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