By Ted Scouten

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LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) — It was one of the worst days in Nicola Taylor’s life.

At eight months pregnant, an electrical problem caused her apartment to catch on fire, leaving her and her family with only a hotel room to call home.

That’s all changed as Lauderhill Fire Rescue threw a surprise baby shower for Nicola and her family, gifting her with everything a baby could need, including a new place to call home.

“Surprise!” yelled a room full of fight fighters as Nicola and her family walked into the fire department.

“Here are your keys, you’re new apartment,” said Capt. Gerry Gonzalez surrounded by a room full of clapping, cheering people. Firefighters set up a GoFundMe page and dug into their own pockets to pay the deposit and rent for the next few months.

“No words, no words can express how I feel,” said a surprised Nicola.

Not only are Nicola and her family grateful for the unexpected gifts, but also for the men and women of the Lauderhill Fire Department who never forgot them.

“There’s somebody to call every day,” Nicola said. “Even if the Fire Marshal doesn’t call, there’s somebody to call to ask if we’ve eaten, if we’re okay or they stop by to see us.”

The family escaped the fire with literally the clothes on their backs.

With tears running down his face, Nicola’s dad, Glendon Daley, said, “All I had on my back was one shirt and one pants. I really appreciate what everybody has done for me.”

Firefighters who worked the scene were touched by the family and knew they had to do something.

“I put myself in their shoes and said, what would I do if I lost everything,” asked Lauderdhill Fire Rescue’s B.J. Smith. “It’s heartbreaking.”

As Nicola checked out the new home-sweet-home, firefighters were hard at work unpacking the truck and getting the family moved in and ready to begin their new life — for the new addition that is just weeks away.


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