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Officer and family get big surprise after losing home in fire

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Kansas City police officer, his wife, and their nine children received a special surprise Saturday as they came face-to-face with the firefighters that saved them after their home caught fire.

Matt Hannah and his family were forced out of their home with only the clothes on their back early Thursday morning. Days later, they were surprised with the overwhelming support shown at the Kansas City Police Department's South Patrol.

After reuniting with the fire crews who helped rescue them, the family of 11 was escorted into  a room full of donations – everything from basic supplies like toothbrushes to clothes and toys to money from a Secret Santa. The donations for the whole family came from the police and fire departments as well as from people in the community.

"We're going to have to start thinking about how can we help others with some of the generosity that people have shown toward us," Vickie Hannah said.

Matt Hannah and his family have been staying in a hotel since their house located near 105th Terrace and College Avenue in Kansas City was destroyed.

"The house, it went up so fast," recalled Josh Hannah. 

"Dad came in and turned on the light and said, 'you guys have to get up and get your clothes and stuff on.' We went out the window, onto the sunroom roof, and then we went down," said Zarah Hannah.

 The fire destroyed the family's home. But they'd already talked about what to do in an emergency, and they were all able to get out safely, all 11 of them.

Next week, the Hannah's will move into a new home also offered up by donors.

As the kids got to check out a real fire truck Saturday, they counted their blessings that they all made it out safely and that the community has stepped up to help them.

"I'm so truly grateful. There really aren't any words to express. We got out with the clothes on our backs we got out with no shoes, no coats, nothing, people were just standing in the street shivering," said daughter Baylie Hannah. "Now to see what people have just, out of the goodness of their hearts, given to us is just truly amazing."

All of this is making for a challenging holiday season to say the least. But, this adversity is drawing the Hannah's closer together, reminding them of what matters most.

"When I lay my head down on the pillow at night, it's really not about the house and the things that we lost. We all made it and we're so grateful for that," Matt Hannah said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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