EMTs rescue Christmas after fire destroys deli

SWARTHMORE, Pa. - December 24, 2011

Springfield Ambulance EMTs became part-time elves on Christmas Eve.

A massive fire caused by a deep fryer ripped through the well known Countryside Deli on Yale Avenue in Swarthmore Saturday morning.

The 17 year old family business was destroyed along with the family home on the second floor.

Firefighters in Delaware County battled a blaze which started just before 6:00am Saturday morning.

The fire was fueled when a gas line ruptured inside the building making it harder for firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

All four members of the family were able to escape without injury, but not before everything they owned went up in smoke.

A member of the Emergency Management team suggested making donations to the fire victims, their hearts going out to the 3 year old who lost all of her Christmas presents.

So EMT Daniel Boyd posted one comment on Facebook at 11:00am, telling people how they could leave donations at the station.

"I happened to be on the computer at the time, and I posted a post on facebook that we were doing this, and we would probably drop some Christmas presents off around 7:00pm," Daniel explained.

And just 7 hours later, the ambulance company was overrun with toys, clothes, gift cards and cash.

"I didn't do this," said Daniel. "It was the people who read it on facebook and reached into their pockets."

The special delivery required special transportation for a very special man, and Saturday night, Christmas arrived early for Selenamarie Cannon and her family.

Selenamarie's mother was overwhelmed.

"This is so great, so great," said Selenamarie's mother Ashley Hand. "I never expected this."

EMTs dropped off all of the donated gifts at a home in Media where the family is staying.

Selenamarie's great-grandfather John Carrafa says he's just simply thankful


"It's just unbelievable," said John Carrafa. "Wait until my sister-in-law sees her house!"

Carrafa says he will rebuild his business and home for little Selenamarie and the rest of their family. It will be a long road, but the goodwill they received this holiday season will definitely help them get through it.

The fire destroyed the Countryside Deli located in the 500 block of Yale Avenue early this morning.

Fire was first reported just before 600am.

Firefighters battled the smoky fire which worsened as a gas line ruptured inside of the building which fueled the fire until utilities could arrive.

The building also had an attached apartment which was occupied by 4 people who were able to escape the fire.

No injuries were reported.

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