Hemet Family Displaced by Fire Gets Special Santa Surprise

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Members of a family that lost their home in Hemet and nearly all of their possessions in a late-night fire last week received an extra special delivery on Tuesday night, thanks to some caring and generous neighbors.


The Alvarado children, who lost all their possessions in a Dec. 20 fire, will meet Santa Christmas Eve in Hemet at the home of George and Lori Griley. Donations are being collected for Santa to give to the children. (Credit: Craig Shultz/The Press-Enterprise)

Members of the Alvarado family, which includes five children, were presented with donated gifts “from Santa” at the home of George and Lori Griley on Christmas Eve.

Lori Griley posted on Facebook Tuesday morning to announce the gift-giving evening for the family.

“We have a family in our area that lost everything (house, belongings and both cars) to a fire on Friday evening,” the Facebook post said, according to The Press-Enterprise. “They are coming to see Santa this evening and thanks to many generous donations, including my Hemet Wal-Mart. He will have gifts for the family (5 kids – ages 3,5,10,19 boys and 16 girl).”

The Grileys and neighbors helped pull together donations and presents for the family.

“A few messages on Facebook and look what you get,” Griley said.

The Hemet Fire Department also donated $500 worth of Kmart and Sears gift cards, The Press-Enterprise reported on Sunday.

The fire that displaced the family began around 10 p.m. Dec. 20 in their home on State Street in the Santa Rosa Mobile Home Park, according to the paper.

“You see the whole Christmas tree turn red,” Yadira Alvarado said, “and we just grabbed our little brothers and our pet dog that we have. And we just ran out as soon as we can.”

Hemet fire officials told The Press-Enterprise that the family’s Christmas tree likely caused the blaze.

The family lost their home, two vehicles and all of their Christmas presents.

The Red Cross was housing them at a hotel. However, thanks to more people’s generosity, they may not be there for long.

The Alvarados said they have been swamped by offers to come live in homes and apartments in the area.

KTLA’s Steve Kuzj contributed to this report.

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