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After a blizzard left a family of 6 stranded and powerless in New York, firefighters let them stay at the firehouse — and gave them Christmas presents

the family at the buffalo firehouse

Buffalo Airport/Twitter

  • A family of 6 in Buffalo was left without power and stranded on the road before Christmas.
  • Firefighters came to rescue them and other motorists, and the family stayed at the firehouse.
  • The oldest child got a firefighter uniform, and firefighters scrambled to get them presents.

After a storm knocked out their power, a family of six in Williamsville, New York, ended up spending their Christmas at the firehouse — and Santa still found them.

Danielle and Demetrice were hit by the blizzard coating Buffalo and leaving other travelers stranded. When their power went out, they tried to head for a hotel. But the storm in Buffalo, which has reportedly left at least 25 people dead and the area under nearly four feet of snow, had other plans.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Danielle told CNN. “It was like looking at a white piece of construction paper.”

Instead, the family got stuck at a roundabout, alongside many other drivers, according to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Firefighters Mike Carrubba, Mark Wolhfiel, and Joel Eberth came to the rescue of 42 travelers stuck in the roundabout — braving snow drifts of 5 feet, low visibility, and having to eventually bring in an off-road vehicle, according to CNN. 

But the 42 rescuees were eventually brought to the firehouse. According to the NFTA, Demetrice and Danielle, whose surnames were not immediately available, were the only ones with young kids — Aayden, an 8-year-old, Aubree, a 4-year-old, Jordynn, a 2-year-old, and 9-month-old Judah. So the family settled in to spend Christmas Eve at their temporary new digs.

Aayden “asked if he could be in uniform with us,” according to the NFTA. Aayden was given a uniform and a T-shirt, and got to learn about how dispatch works.

Since the family was going to spend Christmas Eve to Christmas morning at the firehouse, it was crucial that Santa was able to find them.

“Christmas became a big concern because Aayden was so excited that Santa would know he was here and he would get to celebrate at a real firehouse and we didn’t want to disappoint,” Eberth, the Assistant Chief Buffalo Airport Fire Department, said in a statement. 

To make sure that the kids got presents, the firefighters found things around the firehouse to wrap — and had a present assist from the field office, which delivered some more items from Santa. With all of those pooled presents, “we were able to make sure Santa paid a visit,” Eberth said. 

a note from santa

Buffalo Airport/Twitter

The family isn’t the only one to have a weather-addled Christmas, as flights across the country get canceled and travelers spend their Christmas at the airport or far from their intended destinations.

The experience of deadly snowstorm-turned-nontraditional Christmas celebration left its mark on both the firefighters and family. Demetrice told CNN that the guys at the firehouse were “amazing”: “They treated us with nothing but love.”

“It was an amazing experience for our firefighters and it definitely made us better people,” Eberth said.

Read the original article on Business Insider