Gwinnett County firefighters did more than put out a blaze that gutted a Dacula house early Thursday. They gave the family a small artificial Christmas tree and several toys.
Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said "the family lost everything and they were so thankful to have something to give their [three] children on Christmas morning." He credited residents who have been dropping off toys at local fire stations.
"Our ability to help people in need would not be possible if it weren't for the generosity of our citizens and the outpouring of the Christmas holiday spirit," Rutledge said.
The family was renting the house on Amberly Glen Way in Dacula. The Red Cross helped them relocate.
Shortly after 5 a.m., fire erupted in the garage and attic area of the single-story wood frame house. Everyone escaped unharmed, though a woman was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center for a medical condition unrelated to the fire.
The fire destroyed the house and a car parked in the driveway. Rutledge said the accidental blaze apparently started from a fire burning in the fireplace.