Woman Rescues 7 Service Dogs During California Wildfire
When the flames surrounded her car on both sides of the road, her survival instincts kicked into high gear.
As parts of northern California continue to burn as the massive Kincade Fire spreads through the hills, people in the area have been forced to flee their homes, sometimes with little to no advance notice. But, it's not just people that are rushing to escape the smoke and flames.
Volunteers at Canine Companions for Independence, a training center for service dogs in Santa Rosa, were forced to evacuate the facility on Sunday as the fire quickly spread through the area.
One of those volunteers, Laura Allen, was driving on the Carquinez Bridge near Vallejo, CA when the fire jumped from one side of the highway to the other. Suddenly, Allen and the seven dogs she had in her car with her, were surrounded by flames.
Check out this video taken on the bridge just moments before Allen had to flee to safety...
(Source: David Ferguson Facebook )
"We were going over the bridge, and as we got up, we saw the smoke -- and the flames just erupted very quickly," Allen told KCRA3-TV. "It was very scary because the smoke was very thick and ash was covering our car."
She knew she had to think fast to keep the dogs and herself safe, and with the fire now on both sides of the road she couldn't go that way. Instead, she did a quick U-turn on the bridge and eventually made it safely to her home in Sacramento.
While Allen has been praised for her efforts to get the seven dogs to safety, she is quick to recognize the other volunteers who were on the bridge that night and faced the same dangers as she did.
"It wasn't just me who helped with the evacuation," she wrote in a Facebook post. "It was a huge team effort by volunteers and staff at Canine Companions. There were volunteers from the Bay Area that came as well....and 3 of us with 19 dogs who were on the bridge together."
Either way, Allen and the other volunteers should be congratulated for their quick action to keep the very valuable dogs safe from harm.
After a scary ride home, the dogs are safe and sound at Allen's home in Sacramento.
If you would like to help those affected by the fires, the following organizations are accepting volunteers and donations:
- World Central Kitchen is accepting donations as well as volunteers who can sign up for a shift here. WCK in a non-profit founded in 2010 by celebrity chef José Andrés and is devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.
- Redwood Empire Food Bank is accepting donations at several locations throughout Sonoma Country and is providing food at shelters in the area.
- Community Foundation Sonoma County Resilience Fund is a long-term fund first started in 2017 that you can donate to. It is a source of long-term aid for Sonoma County.
- United Way of the Wine Country's Kincade Fire Emergency Relief & Recovery Fund is accepting donations to help with the relief and recovery efforts for those affected by the fire.
(Source: images Laura Allen Facebook )