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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Nurse Whose Truck Was Torched During Wildfire Rescues Has New Truck 'Burned' to Match

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Allyn Pierce, a nurse who helped evacuate hospital patients during the Camp Fire of 2018, is sporting a brand-new truck with a customized paint job to match the charred Toyota Tundra that he credited with saving his life.

It was Nov. 8, 2018, when Pierce risked his life by driving his truck through the fiery inferno in Paradise, California, in order to get hospital patients to safety.

Pierce thought he would lose his life that day, as he watched the flames surround his truck, trapped on all sides.

“I was like, ‘I think I’m done,'” Pierce later told The New York Times. “I just kept thinking, ‘I’m going to die in melting plastic.”‘

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November 8th, 2018. It's 9:43 AM (IN THE MORNING) There wasn't a square foot space that wasn't on fire. I'm watching work friends running past, between vehicles, because there cars were trapped or broke down in the heat and dearth of oxygen. I'm making calculated moves to keep moving forward. If I had to drive over fire, I would let some space build up in front of my truck, and close the gap quickly when clear road opened up, so I could limit the amount of time the tires spent over the direct flames. I have music blaring : Peter Gabriel, Ah Ha, to try to drown out the explosions and keep my passengers calm. Cars would try to pull ahead of me and drive in those spaces and get stuck over the fire. Some of the cars would catch on fire and the occupants would end up having to abandon their vehicles and run up the road through the fire and ember filled air. I decided to try and follow the Cal Fire truck, thinking they would be able to carve a better path and maybe had more information. I ended up trapped in the left lane oncoming lane, next to the their rig. We were trapped to the left by a burning full size SUV. My passengers made quick decision to escape to the Cal Fire truck, when we realized the firemen appeared to be sheltering in place (possibly preparing to burn over) with some sort of space blankets against the windows to try and block the heat. That's when things went from terrifying to some other calm, funny place (my eyes are tearing up while I write this particular part)I didn't join them, because I didn't want to block the road if something opened up. The people in the cars behind me are my people, my team, my Feather River Hospital that worked so hard to get our patients to safety. The situation was…grave. The music that used to feel so calm now had this soundtrack juxtapositional quality. The lyrics now taking on a dark message. I start recording videos to my friends, my family. I wrap my phone up and stuff it in the center console. Then a Cal Fire Dozer Operator slams the burning SUV out of the way opening up a path to turn around and escape…. I head back to the hospital #campfire #buttestrong #pandra #tundra #toyotatundra #rockstargarage

A post shared by ? Allyn Pierce ? (@the_pandra) on

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Pierce credited his tough-as-nails Toyota pickup truck, which he affectionately called “The Pandra” due to it’s panda-like appearance, for keeping him alive that day.

The Toyota Tundra emerged from the flames with battle scars of its own — charred doors in deep black and brown colors that made the white truck resemble a campfire marshmallow.

When Toyota USA heard of Pierce’s story, the company offered to replace the truck with a brand new one.

True to its word, Toyota USA honored Pierce’s heroic efforts by gifting the nurse a brand new white Tundra TRD Pro, Fox News reported.

But the pristine white Tundra TRD Pro, dubbed the Pandra Pro, would not stay white for long.

Rockstar Garage, the automotive builder affiliated with Rockstar Energy Drink, had big plans to give the truck a paint job that would pay tribute to its predecessor.

A team of automotive specialists in Murrieta, California, painted the new truck to look burnt, with golden-colored paint along the sides and back panels of the vehicle and deep, charred black at the bottom.

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The team proudly called this look the “Toasted Marshmallow,” and judging from the side-by-side comparison to the original, they nailed it.

In addition to the paint job, the Pandra Pro got new 40-inch tires, lifting it a head above the older model.

According to Fox News, the original truck still runs, and looks just as it did the day it proudly emerged from the fire.

Hopefully, Pierce will not have a reason to test this new truck in a forest fire, but instead, will enjoy many new adventures.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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