A little boy in Plainfield, Illinois, got a huge surprise after only one of his classmates showed up for his birthday party Saturday.
Dominic Giatras, 7, was looking forward to the celebration at GymQuest, but when the time came for his friends to come through the doors, only one of them did, according to WGN 9.
“Ten minutes after the start of the party, we still didn’t have any guests,” said Noreen Mattson, who runs the gym’s front desk. “Five minutes later we had one guest show up, and twenty minutes later, he was still the only guest.”
Dominic’s mother, Elizabeth, was battling pneumonia, so that might have caused parents some confusion as to whether or not the party would take place.
However, when Mattson said she saw a firefighter’s wife from the previous party still standing in the lobby, she asked if it would be a good idea to call the department for help.
“I called, I was a little emotional. I thought they would think it was a crank call because it wasn’t an emergency,” Mattson said.
Once the message was relayed to Plainfield Fire Chief Jon Stratton, he said he was shocked to learn that only one of Dominic’s friends came to celebrate.
“Nothing sadder than that. It’s lights and siren time,” the chief said, adding, “Time to get over here and support that little guy.”
Stations One and Two answered the call, and when a dozen firefighters arrived at the scene in their trucks, Dominic was beyond excited.
“I thought he was going to jump out of his shorts, honestly. He was overjoyed and the smile never left his face,” Stratton said.
Once they rescued Dominic’s party, the firefighters engaged him in a Nerf gun battle, jumped on the gym floor, and threw him into the foam pit.
“Within seconds we were doing darts and running around like kids,” said Plainfield Fire Department Lt. Eric Jensen.
The real-life heroes also helped the birthday boy eat pizza and cake, according to ABC 7.
Stratton said calls like the one they got Saturday are a part of the fire department’s culture.
“Anytime we can do community outreach, we try to. We’ve done a lot of this kind of stuff,” he commented.
Dominic’s mother expressed her thanks to the heroes for taking time out of their day to make the celebration one to remember.
“They all made his day extremely special and forever memorable. Never in my dreams would I expect such a terrific party from out of the blue,” she said, adding “Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”