What to Know
- A Salem County, New Jersey, family was safe and sound after their home caught fire Saturday.
- It turns out that Santa and a group of volunteer firefighters spreading holiday cheer on a parade of the Pilesgrove community spotted the blaze before the family even realized their home was on fire, the Reliance Fire Company said.
- The Christmas cheer continued Sunday with Santa back on the truck and riding around the community.
Santa and a group of jolly firefighters had the perfect route over the weekend as they delivered holiday cheer in a South Jersey community as they happened upon a house fire and saved the family inside that didn't even know their house was on fire.
"Perfect timing," Reliance Fire Company Chief Brian Facemyer said afterward. "Right place, right time."
The Reliance Fire Company had described Saturday's Christmas miracle of sorts in Pilesgrove, Salem County, on its Facebook page.
"This evening at 4:30 pm while being escorted through Pilesgrove, Santa Claus and his crew on Ladder 12-6 were traveling down Auburn Road when the crew witnessed smoke coming from the eaves of a 3 story single family residence," the post said. "12-6 immediately went into service evacuating the occupants who were unaware of the fire..."
It actually turns out there were two Santas who wound up taking a break from the firetruck holiday tour to help save the Ridgeway children and their mom.
"I will always believe in Santa Claus now," said Norma Ridgeway whose daughter and grandchildren were saved from the fire. "God sent Santa down the road at the right time."
With some help from the Santas and their helpers from other fire companies, the fire was quickly extinguished and the damage was contained to the walls and floors of the home, the fire company said.
The Santas and their firefighting elves took a little rest after the rescue, but got back on the truck Sunday to continue spreading the traditional cheer in Woodstown and Pilesgrove.
NBC10 News anchor Rosemary Connors so eloquently summed up the entire event in a holiday poem:
"'Twas the week before Christmas and Santa was atop a firetruck spreading some cheer when all of a sudden he saw smoke and thought, 'oh dear!'
"He told the volunteers to make a turn and he helped put out the flames before this house burned.
"All is now safe and sound here in Salem County and this is further proof that Santa is always watching out for you and me.
"Thank you Santa and the Reliance Fire Company."