Stunning response to fire department's appeal to help displaced family

The McQuillan family lost everything in a house blaze.
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The McQuillan family (inset) lost everything in the fire that destroyed their home.

The McQuillan family (inset) lost everything in the fire that destroyed their home.

"Alright internet, do your thing," the Wyoming Fire Department wrote on Monday ... and then it did.

We wrote about the appeal for donations from fire officials two days ago, after a devastating overnight blaze destroyed the home belonging to the McQuillan family, who were left with nothing but the clothes on their back.

Well since that appeal went out, the community in Wyoming, Minnesota and beyond have responded in stunning fashion, donating countless goods the family needs to rebuild their lives and so far raising more than $12,000 via a GoFundMe drive.

The fire department offered an update on Tuesday, writing that "so many items came in that they don't have space for them all!"

It paid tribute to those donating to the cause.

"If you helped make those smiles happen share this so people know that when we each make a small effort it can become an overwhelming wave of generosity," it wrote.

"There is no tragedy too large for us to come together and overcome."

The department's initial Facebook post has been shared more than 1,300 times since Monday.

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Parents Allie and Matt McQuillan say their lives were saved by being woken by their smoke alarms, rushing to get their kids out of their smoke-filled rooms – as well as their pug – before their entire house went up in flames.

They had just installed the alarms a few weeks earlier.

Chief Paul Hoppe, Wyoming director of public safety, told KARE 11: "And if it hadn’t been those brand new smoke detectors they put in, we wouldn’t have a story about a community’s compassion, we’d have a whole different story about five funerals today."

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