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Buffalo, New York, firefighters provided a real Christmas for a family of six stranded in a blizzard. Danielle and Demetrice, with their four children, spent Christmas at a firehouse, and Santa still stopped by. 

Unfortunately, the family was one of thousands hit by a major blizzard in Buffalo, New York. Over five feet of snow fell, and thousands were without electricity or running water.

After losing power on Christmas eve, the family tried in vain to get to a hotel. Their vehicle became stuck on a Buffalo roadway, along with 42 other people.

Thankfully, local firefighters came to the family’s aid. Meanwhile, the rescue was not without problems. 

Danielle and Demetrice’s family spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the firefighters.
Danielle and Demetrice’s family spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the firefighters.

The road conditions, weather, and snow made it difficult to save the family. Mom Danielle was unsure a rescue was even possible. 

According to Danielle, “I’ve never seen anything like it, it was like looking at a white piece of construction paper. Even cars, with their bright lights on, you just couldn’t see anything.”

Firefighters save Christmas for family

Frightened, she begged the them to stay with her family. The firefighters replied, “We will never leave you.”

Eventually, thanks to the help of an off-road vehicle, firefighters saved the family. They went to the local fire station, along with other families. 

And that’s where the real Christmas magic happened for the family. Firefighters managed to collect gifts from local shops that remained open on the holidays. 

The family’s oldest son received a firefighter’s uniform and t-shirt. He also learned how firefighters protect families during emergencies. 

The father, Demetrice, marveled at the results of the firefighters’ ingenuity. “Santa came for our family,” he said. 

Overall, the experience provided hope for the firefighters as well. According to Assistant Chief Buffalo Airport Fire Department Joel Eberth, “It was an amazing experience for our firefighters, and it definitely made us better people.”

Meanwhile, Danielle and Demetrice expressed their gratitude for their unusual but still traditional Christmas. “Those guys were amazing at the firehouse. They treated us with nothing but love.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...