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Woman touched by firefighters kindness
shopping cart pic
Zuraida Dutra poses for a picture with two firemen from Fire Station No. 2 and the folding shopping cart they gave her. The firemen are holding Dutras gifts to them homemade cake and chocolate pizza. - photo by Photo Contributed

Zuraida Dutra had her faith in human kindness rekindled recently, after a team of Turlock City firefighters went above and beyond the call of duty and acted as Good Samaritans.

Two months ago, Dutra was walking home from the store with three bags of groceries. Because of her diabetes and Parkinson ’s disease, carrying anything while walking is a struggle for the elderly woman.

On that day, she was having a harder time than usual, Dutra said, and while many people saw her struggle, they just walked on by. But then a bright red fire engine stopped and three firefighters offered their assistance in helping her home.

“A lot of people saw me walking and nobody else stopped,” she said.

Dutra was grateful for their help that day and their friendly conversation.

It wasn’t long after that incident that Dutra had another visit from the Engine 32 firefighters from Fire Station No. 2. On Easter Sunday, Dutra opened her door to the firefighters who returned with a surprise gift.

“They gave me the most beautiful shopping cart I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said. “These guys are wonderful.”

The firefighters presented Dutra with the cart to help her get to and from the grocery store with as little trouble as possible. Dutra repaid their kindness the only way she knew how, by baking two giant cakes with red frosting on top — in honor of their fire engine — and a chocolate pizza.

“They risk their lives for us, for the city, and never receive recognition,” she said. “The people of Turlock should be proud to have them serving us.”

To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.