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Phoenix firefighters help family devastated by trailer fire days before Christmas

Posted at 10:05 PM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-25 00:12:12-05

PHOENIX — A cough from the living room woke Tabatha Hill up; she sent her husband Cody to check on their nephew and found him just feet away from the flames.

“All of a sudden I just hear him scream the house is on fire," said Tabatha, who's also 6 months pregnant. “My main concern was to get the kids out, that was my number one priority.”

She survived, after carrying out her nephew and 4-year-old daughter, Emma. Her husband grabbed their dog and a phone to call 911.

Their mobile home near 32nd Street and McDowell Road was destroyed, including everything inside, down to the Christmas presents for Emma.

“Just hours before, we had wrapped our presents and put them under the tree. Just hours. It breaks my heart, I cried all today, every day since it happened,” Hill said.

Now, the Hill family says they feel stuck. They have no idea where they'll go next, or if they'll have a roof over their heads.

“They need a home,"said Hill. "They need to be able to live in a home and not bounce from place to place."

While their future is still in limbo, the first responders who watched the Hill family's home burn down couldn't stand by and watch.

Joel Helbling says he and his crew got together to get their family clothes, shoes, enough food to last through the holidays, and even presents for their little girl.

“It's the Christmas that we originally had planned for her, it’s a blessing," said Cody Hill.

Firefighters gifted Emma plenty of toys and a brand new bike.

“It might not mean that much to them," said Tabatha, "But it meant the world to us.”

Firefighters say an investigator is still looking into what caused the fire.

A GoFundMe page has been made to help the family.