BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Unfortunately, Christmas Day was a busy one for the Baton Rouge Fire Department. Three homes caught fire over the course of the holiday, as well as an apartment complex.
Christmas dinner was on deck at Station 1 with a special prime rib with all the fixins'.
"On holidays, especially Christmas, Easter, we tend to do it a little more," said Blake Edwards, a firefighter with BRFD.
Away from home, these guys try to make the most of it, but it can be hard, especially for those with young kids. "Does it ever get any easier? Not yet. It is pretty rough," said Edwards.
Rick Dudley's 6-year-old daughter wrote a letter to Santa, asking him to visit a day early so her dad could be home when they opened gifts. Fortunately, the big man in red was accommodating.
"When I went home yesterday morning, Santa had come, and they had presents waiting for them," said Dudley.
Firefighters devote their lives to public service, and for them, it could be any other Monday before they could get to their prime rib.
A call at 5:15 p.m. sent them out the door to Washington Avenue in north Baton Rouge, where flames ripped through the roof of a home. While no one was inside at the time of the blaze, it left extensive damage, tearing the home apart from one side to the other.
The work never ends, and pretty soon they'll be off to their next call, away from home, but not away from family.
"These guys really are you family, your family away from family," said Edwards.