The California Wildfire is so severe that hundreds of thousands of residents are being forced to evacuate the area. Many are losing their homes, including high-profile celebrities like Gerard Butler, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, and Neil Young.
There are countless photos of the destruction taking place in Southern California right now. Some 85,500 acres of land have been affected so far, with firefighters fighting around the clock to contain the blazes.
Miley counts herself among the “lucky ones” who were able to make it out alive, despite losing her home, and she showed her gratitude to the emergency responders who risked their lives in the face of danger:
“I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that’s all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong. I am grateful for all I have left. Sending so much love and gratitude to the firefighters and LA country Sheriff’s department!”
There are still many people who need help fleeing the fire and getting to safety, and thankfully it’s not just firefighters stepping up to assist those in need. Take nurse Allyn Pierce, who put himself in danger by literally driving through the fire to help others.
Allyn’s burnt and melted Toyota pickup truck has become a symbol of heroism and selflessness in the face of one of the most horrifying natural disasters the area has ever faced. The ICU manager at Paradise’s Adventist Health hospital hopped into his vehicle with two colleagues on Thursday morning and helped evacuate people.
His truck was soon engulfed in flames.
The New York Times reported Jack Nicas narrated Allyn’s entire journey and his attempts to combat the heat while stuck in traffic. He watched in horror as other cars caught on fire around him. The solution? Peter Gabriel. That whole, “The light, the heat” line probably wasn’t too comforting though.
When an opportunity presented itself for Allyn to get out, he decided going home wasn’t an option — there were still a bunch of people back in Paradise (ironic name now, huh?) who needed medical care. So he and his colleagues saddled up and went back into the fray.
Once back at the hospital, Allyn and his colleagues hopped out of the car and worked fast with local police, paramedics, and other medical staff. They set up a makeshift medical center to get people the care that they needed to survive the blaze after “breaking in” to the hospital for supplies.
To make matters worse, the hospital itself caught fire, so Allyn and the other responders had to relocate the patients to the hospital’s helipad where they continued administering treatment. Once an exit was clear, the patients and hospital staff all made it out of the area without incident or additional injury.
In true hero fashion, Allyn denied that his actions were heroic and that he was simply doing his job. He also insisted that the teamwork of everyone involved is what helped them ensure the safety of all the patients involved.
Now if you’re worrying about Allyn’s truck, you’re not alone. Plenty of people tagged the auto manufacturer online to let them know of the nurse’s heroism. Toyota responded quickly and not only applauded the ICU manager’s actions but promised him a brand new truck for his efforts.
People were understandably inspired by Allyn’s actions, and couldn’t help but praise the man for his selfless act. It doesn’t hurt that the Times reporter provided an excellent account of the story either, which you can read in further detail here.
The wildfire’s death toll sits at a staggering 42, which has made it California’s deadliest ever. Sadly, more than 200 people are still missing, including many elderly retirees.
Here’s hoping that there are no more fatalities associated with the Camp Fire that’s already razed 7,100 buildings in the area. As terrifying as the destruction is, there is comfort knowing people like Allyn are willing to risk their lives to help those in need.