San Francisco Firefighters Replace Toys for Christmas

Firefighters in San Francisco were recently inspired to replace toys and Christmas gifts after the biggest blaze in seven years left over forty people homeless this holiday season. According to Chief Joanna Hayes-White, the project was initiated after firefighters saw ruined gifts lying amongst the wreckage near Alamo Square.

“The main thing is no lives were lost, but particularly three days before Christmas, it’s tough,” she said. “We saw a lot of burned packages.”

The project has already sent more than 120 gifts, and is waiting for an accurate count of the remaining displaced families.

The inferno, which occurred on Thursday, caused more than $8 million in damages. 43 San Franciscans are now being sheltered in a church, while the cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire originated in one of the famous Victorian homes, spreading to an apartment building and eventually destroying 32 homes. More than 150 firefighters were needed to control the flames. Hayes-White said it was a three hour process. One firefighter was hospitalized with a burn on the neck, and another was given oxygen at the scene. A civilian was treated for smoke inhalation, but firefighters believe not one person was seriously harmed.

“It was a challenging fire to fight, but given the time of day, it was actually helpful because more people were out of their dwellings,” Hayes-White said.

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