Santa helps fire crew rescue family from burning home

Author: Caitlin O'Kane / CBS
The fire company said Santa helped evacuate the family inside the burning house. Credit: Reliance Fire Company

A fire company in New Jersey enlisted the help of Santa to spread some holiday cheer – and he ended up helping them do much more. While driving around Pilesgrove, New Jersey, waving at families from a fire truck, Santa and his crew sprang into action to put out a house fire.

The Reliance Fire Company, a volunteer fire company that serves South Jersey’s Pilesgrove Township and Woodstown Borough, had let residence know they would be driving around with Santa on Saturday, and people could track their journey online.

About 30 minutes after they began their Santa tour, the fire crew saw smoke coming from the eaves of a three-story single-family residence, the fire company wrote on Facebook. The crew immediately stopped their tour and went to the house.

The fire crew that was driving around with Santa saw smoke coming from the eaves of a three-story single-family residence and immediately stopped to help.
Credit: Reliance Fire Company

Another local department – and even Santa himself – helped during the rescue. Santa helped alert the family members inside the house, who were unaware of the fire, Fire Chief Brian Facemyer told

“It appears it was some type of malfunction with the chimney they had a wood stove burning and the fire was in the wall alongside the chimney where the wood stove was,” the chief said.

“There was an adult female and five children inside that actually weren’t aware that the house was on fire till the firefighters went and knocked and opened the door,” Facemyer said, adding that because the house is in a rural area, they might not have gotten quick help if it weren’t for their Santa tour.

The fire, which was contained within the walls and floors, was extinguished, the fire company said in its post. And of course, after cutting his tour short, Santa wanted to make it up to the townspeople. So, he rescheduled his drive around for Sunday.

CBS News has reached out to the Reliance Fire Company for information and is awaiting a response.

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