Santa visits shelters in wildfire-damaged Gatlinburg

Photo: WKRN

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WKRN) – Santa Claus took some time out of his busy schedule to visit with children affected by the devastating Sevier County wildfire.

Kids of all ages got to spend some one-on-one time with St. Nick and pose with pictures. They also received free toys and enjoyed some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

When asked how long he would be in the area, Santa told News 2 “as long as it takes.”

The American Red Cross said it’s unclear who is behind the act, and may just be Good Samaritans looking to help brighten the children’s day.

Thousands of people remain evacuated from their home after more than 15,000 acres were burned in the wildfire that started earlier this week.

Seven people were killed in the fire and dozens of others were injured, while hundreds of structures were destroyed.

Click here for complete coverage of the Sevier County wildfire.