The recent California wildfires have done more than just devour thousands of acres of woodland. They’ve also destroyed numerous homes and claimed scores of lives.
They’ve provided tales of undeniable human bravery. One such story involved a nurse named Allyn Pierce.
As the flames swept toward his home of Paradise, California, Pierce knew one thing: He had to get going and get going now.
Yet the blaze was moving so fast and burning so hot that he wasn’t sure he could make it. So he took out his phone and recorded a goodbye message just in case he didn’t survive.
“Just in case this doesn’t work out, I want you to know I really tried to make it out,” he said. Then he began to drive, terror welling up as flames swirled around him.
“I was like, ‘I think I’m done,’” Pierce said. “I just kept thinking, ‘I’m going to die in melting plastic.’”
View this post on Instagram
He very well might have, too, because a burning vehicle had blocked his way. But a fortuitous intervention saved his life.
Suddenly, a bulldozer arrived seemingly out of nowhere. It crashed into the flaming vehicle, knocking it aside, and that was the moment Pierce could’ve fled.
Instead, he drove back to the hospital in Paradise to see if he could help others. The Sacramento Bee reported that he credits his Toyota pickup truck for his survival.
“Here’s my @toyotausa commercial,” he wrote on Instagram. “This truck literally saved my life today.
“My little town of Paradise was literally burning down around me, and @the_pandra (his nickname for his truck) got me to safety where I could help others…twice. … Thanks to the fire fighters, law enforcement, and my fellow healthcare workers for the work we all did getting the hospital evacuated and our patients to safety.”
Sadly, Pierce didn’t escape unscathed. His house was destroyed.
Suddenly a bulldozer appeared & knocked a burning truck next to him out of the way. There was some room to maneuver. But instead of going forward toward safety, he turned around & drove back into the heart of Paradise. Here’s the aftermath of his Tacoma. (The lights still work.) pic.twitter.com/LLUU1fDfYv
— Jack Nicas (@jacknicas) November 13, 2018
He also wasn’t sure about his employment. “I struggled posting this, but with my house gone and my hospital … I don’t know where my job sits,” he said.
Even his car was heavily damaged, the paint singed and the lights melted. Yet that’s one thing he won’t have to worry about because Toyota has agreed to give him a brand new one.
“Hi Allyn, we are humbled you’d risk your life and Toyota Tundra to drive people to safety,” the company said. “Don’t worry about your truck, we’re honored to get you a new one!”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.