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Days after devastating fire, six year old boy gets a surprise firefighter birthday party

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 14, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Cake cutting, noise makers blowing, and gift unwrapping are all things you'd expect at a six year old's birthday party. However, you might not expect the location, Engine 33 Firehouse in Buffalo.

Erick Hill's actual birthday was on Thursday, the day his family lost everything in a fire at their Frankfort Avenue home.

"It's been a rough couple of days." said Erick's mother, Jamia Jones. "He's just been really depressed because his favorite Batman shoes, he watched them burn. For a six year old, on your 6th birthday, it's traumatizing."

John Otto, The Vice President of Local 282 firefighters, says the opportunity to throw Erick a surprise party was one they couldn't pass up.

"Everyone has children and everyone can see the effects a house fire has on a family, so if we can help in anyway and put a smile on a young child's face, it's an easy lift for us as a community," Otto said.

Erick lost all his presents in the fire, but Sunday he got a bicycle, trucks, and legos, to name a few gifts. He received a custom made toy box from firefighter Bryan Matteson of Ladder 6 that will certainly come in handy. The party surprised Erick's mother too.

"I didn't expect this at all, like this, I didn't expect it all," she said. "And again I'm truly grateful guys, truly grateful."

As for the gift Erick's mother received, the smile on her son's face she said there were no other words besides "amazing."

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help themselves recover from the fire that burned through the home the family owned for over 40 years.