CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- In the midst of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Caira Mercer, a nurse at Baystate, lost her home to a fire.

The stress from work and this tragic accident has left the Mercer family feeling defeated.

That’s why the Western Mass News and Rocky's Ace Hardware Surprise Squad is stepping up to help this family get through a difficult time.

The Mercer family from Chicopee is going through the unthinkable after fire destroyed their home back in April.

“Their house burned and they lost everything in the fire, so they are staying at the hotel until the house can be rebuilt,” said Lisa Cabibbo, Caira’s mother.

This happened as Mercer was at work.

Cabibbo recalls how difficult that day was for the whole family.

“The kids and they stay home when he goes to get her, which is 10 minutes away at Baystate and they were in the house, and they know not to answer the door.  Somebody was banging on the front door and so my granddaughter called her father and said ‘Somebody is trying to get in’ so they have cameras outside and he looked and saw the fire, which was very small at that time, and he told the kids to get out so they did and they ran to the neighbor and by the time the neighbor got over there, it was engulfed,” Cabibbo explained.

You can see in video from the Mercer’s security cameras the children and their dog running out of their home. Luckily, they made it out and no one was hurt.

“When you think about this or that, you start to cry and you have to remember it’s just stuff and thank God the kids are okay, everybody's okay, the animals.  Everybody got out, so that’s a blessing in itself,” Cabibbo noted.

Hearing about this story, the Western Mass News and Rocky’s Ace Hardware Surprise Squad knew they had to do something for this deserving family by surprising some gift cards to Rocky’s and Walmart to help Mercer through this time they’re going through.

[Reporter: You look a little emotional too. How do you feel today?]

“I’m feeling okay. It’s starting to get better everyday that goes on. The house is coming along, so we are feeling better everyday,” Mercer said.

The Mercer family said they have been blown away by all the support and generosity from the western Massachusetts community.

“They’ve done so much. I mean, we are pretty set right now. Everyone has been so generous for the donations to the GoFundMe, gift cards, clothing donations, toys and games for the kids. Everybody has been great, so thank you everybody,” Mercer added.

Now, they are working on rebuilding their home and moving forward as a family.

“It’s still a scary thought, to think it could’ve been so much worse. If the person didn’t call and bang on the door even, they would’ve never called my husband. They were just in the back room playing games and the fire could’ve come in the house and they wouldn't have known and I’m just thankful they are okay and we are just moving forward…We're trying, we'll get through it, we will,” Mercer said.

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