A video that captures a family’s escape from the California wildfires has gone viral, thanks mainly to the father’s calm reassurance of his 3-year-old daughter in the back seat.
Joe Allen sings to Olivia at one point, “Baby it’ll be all right” as he drives through dense smoke, with embers falling on the car and fire on both sides of the road, reports KTVU.
The Allens were among those who fled Paradise, California, with Joe and Olivia in one vehicle, and wife Whitney and 8-month-old Jordan in another. “Hey guess what, we’re not going to catch on fire, OK,” Joe tells Olivia as she talks about the fire. “We’re going to stay away from it and we’ll be just fine. We’re doing alright.” When she asks about returning home, he says they’ll do so when it’s more “Princess Poppy.”
And when their vehicle hits a clear point in the road, Olivia says, “You did it, you did it!” and Joe responds, “We did it together.”
Wife Whitney also got out safely, though “at one point we both thought we weren’t going to make it,” she tells KTVU.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the Camp Fire that decimated Paradise rose to 23, reports the AP, and it seems certain to keep rising. The Butte County Sheriff’s Department has a list of more than 100 people considered missing.
Two people were killed in a separate wildfire in Southern California on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 25. (Read more California wildfires stories.)