Police, firefighters help family who lost home in explosion & fire

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.) (Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.)

It was an early Christmas gift for a grandma and her three grandsons who lost their home to an explosion and fire this week.

On Saturday morning, Phoenix police officers, firefighters and other members of the community joined forces to provide clothes, gifts, toys, gift cards and other necessary items to Prudencia Gonzalez and her grandkids.

[RELATED: Phoenix grandma, 3 grandsons lost home in explosion & fire]

Police say that although they can't actually replace the items that were lost, it was their goal "to provide the family with support and the best Christmas possible in light of the tragic circumstances they have encountered." 

"It's absolutely the right thing to do," one officer told us. "And it's Christmas. We can't give them back what they lost, but if we can at least a little of the Christmas spirit, then it's all worth it.

Santa was also on hand to present gifts and bring along some Christmas cheer.

A Go Fund Me page has also been set up to help the family.

[RAW VIDEO: Phoenix firefighters battle flames after explosion, fire]

The explosion and fire happened just before 10 a.m. Thursday at a home near 11th Avenue and Fillmore Street.

The home was leveled, and the flames spread to a house next door.

A church volunteer who was at the house at the time was killed in the blast. 

[RELATED: Woman killed in Phoenix house explosion identified]

Anita Johnson, 73, was described as a passionate volunteer with a giving spirit, who, in the end, gave her life helping others. 

[RELATED: Woman killed in Phoenix home explosion remembered as 'an amazing spirit and an angel']

"My mom loved Prudencia and her grandsons," said Tiffany Johnson. "We've lost our mom but we're very very thankful the family wasn't there. Because imagine if they had installed the stove and then a problem would have happened and then the family would have been gone. And that would have killed my mom anyway."

Two other people helping to install a new stove were also seriously injured.

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