Valley firefighters on Wednesday brought Christmas cheer to three children who lost their mother after she died in a house fire back in September.
"We wanted to provide some type of hope and some type of happiness for that family," said Capt. Eric Littmann with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.
Back on September, the three children escaped a house fire in the northeast Valley after a blaze started inside a garage converted into an apartment. The children's mother was trapped inside and died from smoke inhalation. Firefighters ruled it an accident.
Littmann was among the first responders.
"To lose a family member, especially a mother, it's devastating," said Littmann. "It's devastating to everybody. It's unfortunate. It's just a terrible experience for everyone involved."
Littmann, along with more than a dozen firefighters, loaded up their fire engines with gifts and personally delivered them to the Cambero children.
Santa and Sparky the fire dog were there, too.
"I haven't seen them like this since we had the accident," said the children's aunt, Myra Perez.
Perez, who's now taking care of the children, said the surprise left her speechless and made her realize they're not alone.
"It makes me feel a little better knowing somebody besides me and my mom cares for them," said Perez. "Just seeing their faces smiling, surprised and opening the presents makes me happy."
While these children have lost a mother, they've gained the support of firefighters. Perez calls them not only Santa's elves but heroes.
"This is something the kids won't forget," she said.
The Operation Fire Holiday Emergency Assistance Team, also known as Operation Fire HEAT, made the gift giveaway possible.
This is the sixth year firefighters have donated a portion of their paychecks to help pay for presents.
If you'd like to learn more information or donate, visit www.operationfireheat.org.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.