Natasha Wallace had to use an unexpected mode of transportation to escape a wildfire headed her way. After discovering her neighborhood would soon to be engulfed, Wallace took her dog and tried to escape using her car. There was only one problem — the roads were backed up with traffic. So the 24-year-old had to figure out another way to escape.
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She turned back home and grabbed a duffel bag and told her four-year-old pit bull Bently, “Hey man this is serious, you need to just sit in the bag. And he, he hopped right in,” Wallace explained. She made a makeshift “sidecar” using the duffle bag to carry Bently.
She began to pedal past the cars that were still waiting in traffic. She said her reasoning behind grabbing her bike was that the fire “was coming faster than I could leave in traffic, so I went back and got my bike.”
As the California fire raged behind her, a truck driver named Paul Johnson came along and offered her a ride to wherever she was heading. “I just want to say thank you to him,” the 24-year-old said when interviewed.
When asked why she went back for her dog, Wallace gave a response that showed she was a true animal lover. “I would never part ways with my dog. Ever,” Wallace said. “‘That’s my ride or die. Oh my God, literally.”
According to ABC7, Wallace learned of the fire at 2 am as she was studying across town The Santa Rosa Junior College, where she plays soccer.
Wallace understands losing everything she owns is a bitter pill to swallow, but she is also grateful that she and her best friend Bently are still alive. “I don’t even know how to express how grateful I am.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, 31 people have been killed in the fire as it continues to ravage northern California.