SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Michael and Holly Vrebta had about an hour to get their kids, pack the family truck, and escape Paradise before the Camp Fire devoured almost all they had.
“Of course we’re sad that we’ve lost our stuff and our home but mostly it’s the stability for our kids and the things they knew and loved their friends- their houses are gone,” said mom
And as if they hadn’t lost enough, their truck carrying everything they owned suddenly disappeared too.
“We went to get food came out here… and just an empty spot,” Michael showed CBS13.
The truck was stolen from the Staybridge Suites in Sacramento where the family has been staying.
“Just the scope of it makes it kind of difficult to process. So this is an insult to that injury,” Holly said.
But just when the Vrbetas thought things couldn’t get any worse, the good news was around the corner. They got their truck back.
The California Highway Patrol found the truck parked a few miles away from their hotel with the ignition damaged.
“We need to start it with a screwdriver now,” Michael said.
But climbing in the back of the truck to find a toy her son had been asking for, Holly was hopeful.
And the excitement didn’t end there. Outside, officers with the Sacramento Police Department had another surprise. They had stickers, bears, balls, and a generous gift for mom and dad.
“Some of our officers donated their own money. We wanted to provide you with a $200 gift card for Target,” said Officer Marcus Basquez.
After all the excitement of the gifts, Ava and Noah got to sit in the police car.
“It was the least we could do for them,” Basquez said.
Giving them a set of holiday lights, their parents will never forget.