A Santa was rescued from his blazing car while on his way to an appointment to drop off toys to a child, thanks to some Utah firefighters. Steve Macey, a Santa for hire who was heading for a home in Alpine, Utah – just 30 miles south of Salt Lake City – to deliver some presents, saw his trip quickly sidelined when his car’s transmission caught on fire, according to Las Vegas Sun.
WJLA reported that the 911 call came through around 6:30 on Christmas morning, and Lone Peak Fire Battalion Chief Battalion Chief Joseph McRae said firefighters were surprised to find that the call came from an uninjured Santa, complete with red suit and beard.
— Nick Harrys (@NickHarrys) December 26, 2015
Macey has been portraying Santa for years throughout the Orem, Utah, area he hails from, and while he was not injured as a result of the blaze, his car was completely destroyed. The Utah firefighters that came to his rescue, though, took him to his appointment.
“You can’t leave Santa stranded on the side of the road,” he said.
Certainly, such a move would definitely land the fire department in hot water with the man in red, but McRae did the right thing and helped Santa get to his appointment. He noted, however, that Santa would have to make use of a less modern form of technology in order to return to his home in the North Pole – or in Macey’s case, Orem, Utah.
“He’s going to have to go back to using his sleigh,” McRae said.
The sleigh was apparently unavailable, however; Macey instead opted for calling a friend to retrieve him once the presents were safely delivered. McRae said that it was calls like the one received from the Santa for hire that made a firefighter’s job more interesting and infinitely more enjoyable, according to London Free Press.
“It kind of makes it a little more enjoyable to do something like this,” he said. “We’re just glad that he could get out and make the call and then continue on his last little trip there.”
Surprisingly, McRae said he had never once rescued a Santa throughout his time as a firefighter. Deseret News said that Macey was just as surprised that he would need rescuing, although he jumped into action quickly.
“I grabbed my bells, my wallet and my Santa suit, the only things that really matter in my life except family, and I ran down the road,” said Macey, 66.
This Santa added that in 50 years, he had never had such a positive experience as the North Pole’s chief elf.
“This has been the greatest Christmas as Santa in the last 50 years of my life,” he said, adding that he was impressed with how quickly firefighters responded to reports of the blaze.
“Here are working guys,” he said. “They didn’t want to be there on Christmas morning. They wanted to be with their families. But they were there for me, and it touched my heart beyond belief.”
McRae reported that this was one of the most memorable Christmases he had ever had in his 35-year career as a firefighter.
Utah firefighters help stranded Santa Claus whose car caught fire Christmas morning: https://t.co/6FwoFQo85H
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 25, 2015
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and this is the first time I’ve encountered the real Santa Claus,” he said. “It was really shocking to see him put his finger to the side of his nose and go down the chimney.”
Reports of this sort of Christmas kindness should only further people’s faith in humanity in a world that has been rattled by events such as the massacre in Paris or the Syrian refugee crisis. There is a Santa, and although he was nearly sidelined by an unexpected transmission fire, he was rescued by kindhearted passers-by and the Lone Peak Fire Department.
[Image via Shutterstock]