| After the family members were at the hospital, and the ambulance crews had returned to the fire location, one of the police officers went to them with burns on his hands. He had burned his hands looking for the children inside the burning house. He had said nothing until now. He refused to let the ambulance crew take him to the hospital, saying his partner would take him later. The ambulance crew bandaged his hands, and he walked off to help with crowd control.
When the chief arrived at Nickies office, she was already busy with phone calls from press people and the curios. He sat next to her and looked at her log book and notes. He made some notes for himself on a piece of paper, then said he was going to his office. Nickie just nodded, as she was busy telling a reporter on the phone, that she had no information at this time.
Nickie didn't know why the reporters always called. They knew as soon as there was a report ready to be released, they would all be called and given this information. But they still called and kept the already busy dispatcher even busier. They also knew no names would be released. But they always ask for the names, even tho they knew they would not get them.
Several hours later it was finally over. Three people had died in the house fire. A mother and her twin baby daughters. The father and two children were burned, one other child suffered smoke inhalation. One police officer and one fireman also suffered burns, and three firemen had suffered smoke inhalation. The father and children were admitted to the hospital. The fireman and police officer were treated and released.
The ambulance crew had time to come into Nickies office, file their reports, have coffee, and rest for about an hour. Then the sick calls started. Several old, lonely people in the area just wanted to be with people for Christmas. They always called for an ambulance, saying they were sick or in pain. They knew they would spend the day in the hospital with people and have a good meal. Then they would be released when nothing wrong could be found. It was the same every year. But still the ambulance crew had to go when they were called. By eleven o'clock it would be quiet again, and Nickie would be almost done with her long shift. She would be ready to go home.
Yes it had been a busy Christmas Eve and morning last year, Nickie remembered. She wondered if this year would be just as busy. She had already volunteered for the long sixteen hour shift, letting those with a family stay home and enjoy the Holy Night. She had always thought of Christmas as a quiet, peaceful, loving time of year before she started working here. Now she knew it was not always this way for everyone. It was still her favorite time of year tho. She finished her card list just as O Holy Night came over the radio. She hoped this year everyone would have a Merry Christmas.