PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Erik Gaines had just begun putting up this year's Christmas lights when the accident happened.
Right from under his feet, the ladder slipped.
Gaines crashed to the ground, breaking several bones in his leg, ankle and shoulder.
His family called 911 and a crew from Engine Company 66 arrived at the family house in Puyallup.
"The homeowner was on the ground with a severely broken leg," said Shawn Erwin, a firefighter for Central Pierce County. "The kids were upset seeing their dad fall."
That's when Erwin and several other firefighters from his unit decided to do something unorthodox.
They would return to hang the Christmas lights for the Gaines family, even though they were perfect strangers.
The team spent more than an hour climbing ladders and navigating the rooftop to hang a series of lights up and down the Gaines' house.
"It makes me feel amazing," said Gaines, who is being treated for his injuries at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. "It makes me feel that much more tied into the community, like we're all looking out for one another."
Copyright 2016 KING