Community Saves Christmas For Desert Hot Springs Family - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Desert Hot Springs

Community Saves Christmas For Desert Hot Springs Family

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Desert Hot Springs, CA -

As fire ripped through their Desert Hot Springs home in the early morning hours of December 14, 2017, all they could do is get out. 

"Just so fast I mean the smoke just barreled in the house and Jamie's running back in for all the animals, it was just like a nightmare," says Danny Cater adding they only got out thanks to their teenage son, who woke up and got them all up from a dead sleep.

Their home is a total loss. Something tough to deal with but during the holidays when families gather around the dinner table, it makes the loss feel worse.

"It's hard going through this having three kids and all these animals and having nowhere to go and not having Christmas," says Jamie Gann in tears.

But as their neighbor Eric Pontius watched their home burn, all he could think about was the children, especially the five-year-old little girl.

"Once I'd seen that I was like well I knew there was something I could do here to help them you know in some small way to make sure that they had a Christmas," says Pontius.

And a man they only knew from his passing friendly wave, happens to own the sports bar, Playoffs, in Desert Hot Springs, from there he rallied the community.

"The VFW, the Elk's Lodge the customers, other neighbors came in and brought in donations and money," Pontius.

Cather, was brought to tears when he sees among the presents what their five-year-old little girl wanted for Christmas.

"It's hard to talk, yeah it's what she said she wanted, a Barbie Dream House," says Cater.

And while the family will have to spend the holidays in a motel, they didn't lose what really matters.

"I'm just glad we all got out together, definitely," says Gann.

And in a place they least expected, a small bar downtown, they felt the real meaning of Christmas.

"Thank you, thank you," says Gann as she hugs Pontius.

"Merry Christmas," replies Pontius.

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