South Shore Fire, Mount Pleasant Police Save Christmas
Amy Johnson is glad South Shore Fire and Mount Pleasant Police were on the scene quickly Thursday evening responding to a fire in her car.
**Updated 6 p.m.
Fire fighters from South Shore Fire saved Christmas Thursday night for a local family.
Around 6 p.m., Mount Pleasant Police and SSFD responded to a call about a car on fire in the parking lot of Piggly Wiggly on Washington Avenue. When fire fighters arrived, they saw flames shooting out of the engine compartment and from underneath.
The blaze was extinguished in a matter of minutes, which not only saved nearby cars from being damaged, but also saved Christmas for the Mount Pleasant woman who owns the car.
South Shore Lt. Stephen Reclaw was part of the team that responded, and he said it wasn't an extraordinary call until he was told what was in the trunk.
"The owner was very worried about damage to the interior of the car and when I spoke to her, she told me her daughter's Christmas presents were in the trunk and the backseat," he said.
Fire fighters checked the car for any damage inside, but, luckily, the flames didn't penetrate the dashboard and there was little water present. The gifts were intact and unharmed.
"I'm so glad the fire didn't spread to the car next to it or back to the gas tank," Amy Johnson told Patch Friday. "This could have been so much worse."
Police officers took Johnson's daughter, Savannah, 6, into their squad to keep her distracted while the family removed the presents and placed them in Johnson's mom's van when she came to collect her daughter and granddaughter.
"Oh, she just loved being able to try the siren," Johnson said. "That was so nice of them to distract her while we moved her gifts."
Her car is totaled, Johnson confirmed, so she is relying on her mother for transportation getting to work at Kohl's, where she's been a cashier for four years.
"I have to wait for my tax return to get a new car so it's a good thing tax time isn't too far away," she added.
Reclaw said he didn't want to presume too much, but it appeared Johnson might not have a lot of means so not losing her daughter's gifts was a relief.
"It's pretty rare that we respond to a call that ends up putting a smile on our faces," he said. "It really means a lot to us that we could help this family keep Christmas for their daughter."