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Sports card store owner surprises boy who lost card collection in Denver house fire

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jan 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-21 19:51:35-05

DENVER — It's been a week since a single mother and three kids were left without a home after a fire in Denver.

Katrina Martinez and her three children — Adam Jr., 12, Amyrikal, 10 and Adias, 9 — lost everything when their house burned down on Jan. 14.

“Every memory I can think of, the last eight years, has been at this house," Martinez said.

Her oldest son, Adam, suffered burns when trying to put the fire out.

"I ran through the house and tried to grab the hose but when I grabbed the hose the whole top of the house was filled with smoke," Adam said.

Sports card store owner surprises boy who lost card collection in Denver house fire

He was devastated after losing all of his belongings, especially his beloved sports card collection. "

They were passed down from generations, passed down from my grandpa's grandpa," Adam said. "They were in mint condition."

When Mike Fruitman, owner of Mike's Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, heard what happened, he decided to help.

"I wanted to change things. I can’t go back. I can't rebuild a house or stop fires but I can make someone smile," Fruitman said. "I started collecting when I was 8 years old. I get the value, not just the value of cards — but what they mean. It’s a collection, something important. So when I hear about someone losing their cards, all I want to do is help."

Saturday, Adam's grandparents brought him into Fruitman's store. Adam was able to pick out any cards he wanted.

"I’m feeling so happy. This is so amazing," Adam said as he was looking through some of the cards, going straight to the section that included his favorite teams — The Denver Nuggets and Las Vegas Raiders.

Fruitman and his employees also surprised Adam with his favorite Nuggets player's jersey — Nikola Jokić.

They also heard Adam's younger brother loved Pokémon cards and sent him home with nearly 5,000 cards to give to his little brother Adias.

Adam said he is grateful for all of the people who have been showing support for his family.

Earlier this week, The nonprofit, Clothes to Kids of Denver, reached out to Denver7, offering to take the family on a free shopping spree.

The family was also able to stock up on everyday essentials at Walmart, thanks to donations that poured in from the community.

"The donations we’re receiving are very helpful and I just wanted to say 'thank you,'" Adam said.

Denver7 has been raising money for the family for nearly a week through Denver7 Gives Foundation.

So far, viewers have raised a total of around $18,000 to help them out.

Adam, his mother and two siblings are still without a home and have been temporarily staying with relatives until they find a place to live.

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