Vallejo firefighters on Saturday rallied around families who lost everything in a fire on New Year's morning.
The Local 1186 Firefighters foundation hosted a toy drive and collected funds for the eight people who were displaced after a two-alarm blaze gutted their home.
"I'm just very blessed and I can't describe how I'm feeling," said Randy Vallencia. "Never in a million years did I think that the community would come together."
Battalion Chief Kevin Brown said crews responded just after 5 a.m. Friday to the fire at 718 Indiana St. and knocked it down within an hour, but not before it ripped through the four-unit residential structure.
"We saw that we could make a difference and we saw these people were impacted pretty severely," said Danny Gutierrez with the Vallejo Fire Department.
Mary Degreef recalled waking up to the flames next door from her home.
"It was like an explosion," she said. "There was a loud crackle, then bam!"
Degreef said there is heat damage in the rear of the place she is staying from the blaze.
Officials said two units next door from Degreef were on fire. A woman and her baby made it out from a living space above the garage.
Degreef said she is grateful everyone is safe.
"You can replace a home, but you can't replace people's lives," she said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.