The rescuers insist that all children, adults and even elves 'keep a three-foot radius between you and anything that burns, including a fire, stove, heater or light!'
As much as the holiday season brings joyful celebrations, it also comes with a higher chance of mishaps. People are particularly warned to be careful of potential fire hazards like candles, decorative lights, cooking blunders, electrical shorts or additional space heaters in tightly packed homes. Despite such warnings, accidents are inevitable and recently, one such unfortunate yet low-impact incident was reported in Virginia, USA. The Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department came across an unexpected victim, an elf on the shelf, affected by a house fire and brought him back to life.
The RCFRD received a call about a residential structure fire on December 13 from northern Roanoke County. "Upon arrival, no flames were found, but the smoke was filling the dining room of a home," they updated on their Facebook page and added, "While searching for the source of the smoke, an 'elf on a shelf' was found next to a light." Describing the source of the accident, the officials wrote, "An elf on the shelf was making his way to higher ground to keep a watchful eye and had become stranded near a light." As the overheated lightbulb sparked a flame, the poor little elf caught fire and the officers rescued him promptly. On receiving 'critical care' the elf reportedly decided to return to his abode in the North Pole for recovery, but not before sending out a powerful message.
The little survivor's message read, "Be respectful of all lights! Both burning flames and shining lights emit heat that’s far too hot for our skin. As you keep a watchful eye on your assignment during Christmas time, please follow Roanoke County Fire and Rescue’s prevention guidelines to keep you safe from harm." The rescuers insist that all children, adults and even elves "keep a three-foot radius between you and anything that burns, including a fire, stove, heater or light!" Lindsay Young, the owner of the home where the elf resided, posted the images of the rescue operation on Facebook. "Please scroll through these pictures to see the valuable lesson that I learned today while wasting a ton of county resources—some lightbulbs get hot," wrote the mom of two.
As a sweet little gesture, the RCFRD dropped off a replacement elf along with a believable story for Young's little boy, Liam. The message read, "My name is Watt. Santa sent me first class because your elf had an accident. Lucky for you, I'm afraid of lightbulbs. Santa has resigned your old elf to the fire prevention area and will keep the firefighters safe. Make sure to set me out so I can fly back today." Young's shout-out to the firefighters said, "I cannot be more grateful for the kindness and grace that they showed me after my unfortunate elf incident earlier today."
According to the NFPA, nearly one in five Christmas tree fires are started by bulbs or lamps. Some of the fire safety tips shared by the association include careful holiday decorations at homes, timely disposition of dried Christmas trees as they can be flammable, keeping an eye on the stove while cooking, maintaining optimal cooking temperatures in stoves and ovens and keeping oneself aware of all fire prevention protocols. Officials also emphasize that people must learn hacks to instantly extinguish a fire source and protect people and property from damage.