Holyoke fire victims receive pleasant surprise from Springfield Thunderbirds

The Springfield Thunderbirds provided the families with a FREE night of family entertainment

SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – A change of fortune for the people who escaped that massive fire in Holyoke that killed three people and left 25 families homeless.

Saturday night, these families received the red carpet treatment they deserve after a devastating start to the New Year.

After a week of so much pain, the victims of this massive New Year’s Day fire that killed 3 people and displaced 25 families received VIP treatment Saturday.

The Thunderbirds provided the families with a FREE night of family entertainment, and of course, hockey.

Joanna Ayala, one of the victims, said, “We just try to enjoy this moment and forget a little bit about what happened that day.”

Ayala, her husband and kids, lived on the 4th floor of 106 North East Street in Holyoke.

Her brother, his wife and young child lived on the 3rd floor. Both are families still in shock.

Ayala continued, “That thing blow my mind and I try to everyday and morning for god and just say thanks, because we are alive.”

Nathan Costa, the Executive Vice President of the Thunderbirds, said, “We really wanted to provide them with an experience that would really allow them to forget about the last week they had to deal with it. It was a chance for us to do something selfless and to give back.”

And the families told 22news, they enjoyed every second of it.

The families were picked up in the official tour bus of the Thunderbirds. Executive Vice President Nathan Costa told 22News, that’s the first time they’ve ever allowed anyone access that wasn’t affiliated with the Thunderbirds.

Joana Ayala and her family received free tickets, food, transportation and souvenirs.

The Thunderbirds will donate 50% of their raffle to the Holyoke Families Go Fund Me page.