CHICAGO (CBS)–A Waukegan family who lost their home in a fire last week received a special gift from firefighters.

Sylvia Pilar Bout shared a video on Facebook Sunday of Waukegan firefighters Captain Matt Burleson and firefighter/paramedic Beth Moss surprising her 12-year-old niece Neveah Escobedo with a replica of a stuffed toy she lost in the fire on September 11.

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In the video, Captain Burleson hands he a black stuffed dog.

“I know its not Slippy, but I hope he replaces him in your heart,” Burleson says as he hands her the black stuffed dog.

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Overwhelmed with tears as she accepts the toy, Escobedo is wrapped in a hug by another young girl.

The family lost most of their belongings in the fire, Bout said.

“The fire was in the upstairs portion of the house, and we kept all of our treasured items upstairs for safe keeping,” Bout said. “My grandma passed away last year and what items we had left of her were in my mother’s bedroom.”
While family heirlooms are irreplaceable, Waukegan firefighters tried to lend the family some comfort by putting together care packages they tucked into backpacks. 
“If that doesn’t show you how amazing these people truly are than I dont know what will,” Bout wrote on Facebook. “Thank you Waukegan Fire Department for everything you have done for my family, we will never forget the compassion you have shown to us.”

Waukegan Fire Marshall Steve Lenzi said the fire department wanted to keep the spotlight on the family.

“We don’t want any emphasis on us and what we do,” Lenzi said. “We want to make the efforts about the family–the fact they lost everything is heartbreaking.”

The video has been viewed 58,000 times on Facebook.


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