11-year-old with special needs overjoyed as firefighters surprise him at birthday party

(INSIDE EDITION) - Most kids remember hosting a firefighter-themed birthday party, but little Mason got the real deal when a group of firefighters showed up at his 11th birthday party to celebrate the occasion.

Mason Allen, a fifth grader from Spokane, Washington, doesn’t have many friends, his mom Danielle Thomas told InsideEdition.com.

He has autism spectrum disorder, and does not communicate or socialize the same way most kids his age do, his mom explained. To make matters worse, Mason spent most of last year out of town receiving mental health treatment.

“It was important for me to make this birthday great,” Thomas said.

When Tomas asked who Mason would like to invite to his birthday party, Mason thought of the Spokane Valley Fire Department. He handed out invitations to his birthday dinner with the details at the station.

“[He wanted to] invite his friends at the fire station, as he remembers once them telling him that they are always his friends,” Thomas said. “I don’t think the thought of them not coming crossed my mind, but them actually showing up did not go through my mind either.”

When Mason’s birthday arrived, two fire trucks approached the Denny’s where Mason and his family could be found celebrating. Several firefighters came into the diner.

“[The firefighters] walked in and said, ‘We’re here for Mason,’” Thomas said. “At first, Mason was in shock – he was so nervous because these are his heroes. He couldn’t believe they were really there for him.”

The firefighters joined in singing “Happy Birthday” and invited Mason to tour their fire engine along with his cousins.

"He was over the moon," Thomas said. "He later told me, ‘I told you they were my friends.'"

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