St Nicholas was a bishop from Myra (now in Turkey) who lived in the 4th century. Legend says he used to give gifts secretly, putting money into shoes and dropping coins down chimneys, and his Yuletide image has him in red bishop robes with a red mitre riding a white horse, leaving out presents for children on his feast day (6 December) while the children leave carrots or hay in their shoes for his horse.
St Nicholas is well suited to staunch Christians and not well suited to staunch non-Christians.
 Which was surely a risky tactic whether the fire was going or not.
 Hardly a subtle disguise for secret do-gooding.