JEFFERSON COUNTY - Hanging Christmas lights is supposed to be fun for Sandra Elvenholl and her family.
"Our usual tradition is that we will start setting up for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving," Elvenholl said.
Her husband Glenn was climbing on the lower roof with their 8-year-old son helping below when the happy family time took a serious turn.
"He had decided that it was too dangerous to be up there and so he was coming back down, the ladder slid out from underneath him," Sandra Elvenholl said.
She dialed 9-1-1 and West Metro Fire Rescue's John Metzler arrived with his crew.
"His ankle was making a left turn off of his leg," Metzler said.
Glenn Elvenholl shattered his tibia and dislocated his ankle, according to his wife. She said that at the time she was panicked.
"Trying to think of so many different things at once, you know, I got to get to the hospital. What do I need to bring? Where are my kids going to go?" Sandra Elvenholl said.
Once the ambulance had Glenn Elvenholl on his way to the hospital, Metzler says the engine crew stayed behind.
"You just turn around and there's a house half-decorated with lights that are just hanging off to the side with a ladder still up," Metzler said. "It would've almost been a sin not to do it."
Metzler and his fellow firefighters started going to work.
"One of my neighbors came over to me and said, oh my gosh, they're hanging the rest of your lights up," Sandra Elvenholl said.
She thanked them for their gesture and snapped a photo with her phone so she can acknowledge West Metro Fire Rescue later on Facebook.
"It was such a sweet thing to see at that moment," Sandra Elvenholl said.
Metzler says he's already gotten other factitious requests.
"I've already gotten some text messages from some fellow firefighters like you know, my ankle hurts, you could come. My lights are in my garage," Metzler said.
Everyone is smiling because Glenn Elvenholl could have easily been more seriously injured. He did already have surgery on his ankle and needs another operation next week, according to his wife. She said he couldn't believe what the firefighters did.
"He was so grateful and so thankful and happy that the kids are gonna have the lights up on the house this year," Sandra Elvenholl said. "The hanging of the Christmas lights will for sure always have a new meaning for our family."
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