WHITMAN (CBS) – A Christmas Eve fire displaced three families from a Whitman triple-decker Monday night.
A resident on the third floor of the Linden Street building called 911 just after 8 p.m. to report a fire on the second floor. Firefighters were able to contain the damage to the second floor but the entire building is uninhabitable at this time.
After dousing the flames, firefighters re-entered all three apartments and were able to remove the already wrapped Christmas presents.
“Firefighters worked quickly to limited the damage, and I am very proud that we were able to save a bit of Christmas for these families who have been put out of their homes tonight,” Fire Chief Timothy Grenno said in a statement.
Granno told WBZ-TV that answering the call of duty, even on Christmas Eve, is just “the nature of the job.”
“It’s what we do. And it’s what makes this place and these firefighters so great,” he said.
Scott Figgins was one of those responding firefighters.
“It was tough to leave my 3-year-old daughter at home to race to a fire, but to see those kids actually get their presents back, it was nice to know you’re doing the right thing,” he said.
Residents Kate and James Njenga have two children, ages 4 and 2.
“It’s just amazing. We are so grateful. We just thank God. And we are safe. The kids had a great Christmas. They don’t even know anything happened,” Kate Njenga said.
“They did an amazing job. We don’t even have any words,” James Njenga said. “That was just astounding.
Damage is estimated at $100,000 and the cause of the fire is under investigation but firefighters said all signs point to an electrical issue. No injuries were reported. The displaced residents are all staying with family.