Christmas House Fire Inspires Community Giving (VIDEO)

12/27/2011 03:10 pm ET

Two Mount Prospect families displaced from their homes by a fire Christmas morning were able to salvage their holiday celebrations with the help of quick-responding firefighters and donations from across their suburban Chicago community.

Maria Jordan and her two daughters, ages 11 and 7, told police their home was engulfed in smoke when they awoke early on the morning of Dec. 25, Fox Chicago reports. The Jordan family's home, including all their Christmas presents, was destroyed by the fire.

The building's other inhabitants, the Marquez family, were staying overnight with relatives when they received a call from their landlord at 4 a.m., Lorena Marquez told NBC. Their unit sustained minimal damage, but is currently uninhabitable.

For both the Marquez and Jordan families, Christmas was saved by the thoughtfulness of their neighbors.

In spite of a steady increase in demand, the village's human services department set aside an emergency reserve of donated gifts from their 16th annual toy drive, and more than 20 gifts appropriate for the family, including a musical keyboard, Barbie dolls and stuffed animals, were delivered Christmas day, Deputy Director Janet Abernathy told the Chicago Sun-Times.

For the Marquez family, whose home was damaged by severe water leakage, thoughtful firefighters saved the day, carefully relocating their gifts to a dry bedroom and putting a tarp over the Christmas tree, according to the Sun-Times.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports. Deputy Fire Chief Chris Truty says the family did "a nice job protecting themselves," contributing to their successful rescue.

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