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Firefighter ‘Santa’ loses Pa. home in fire; toy delivery nixed

The Associated Press

WILSON, Pa. – A Pennsylvania firefighter who dresses up as Santa every year to deliver gifts on a firetruck has been forced to cancel this year after his own home was gutted by fire.


Charles Wacik was scheduled to hand out gifts in Wilson on Sunday before an early-morning fire consumed his home. Wacik and his wife were unhurt.

The 74-year-old has been a firefighter for more than 40 years and is scheduled to retire at the end of the year. For the past five years, he has distributed gifts for the Santa Delivers program.

After the fire, organizers canceled the event and asked participants to pick up the presents instead.

Fire Chief Joseph Sipel says the fire started at a home adjacent to Wacik’s.