Wind-driven fires have spread so fast in Northern California that people only have seconds to escape without losing their lives. The New York Times has reported that even the slightest delay or hesitation has cost people their lives.
There have been 41 reported deaths as a result of the fires.
That’s why the Weavers of Santa Rosa, California didn’t have time to chase after their 9-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog, Izzy, when she fled from the flames in fear.
“My parents woke up with flames surrounding their house in Wikiup Bridge Way and had seconds to get out,” their daughter Beckyjean Widen said on Facebook. “In the chaos of trying to escape, my parent’s dog Izzy ran from them. My mom couldn’t chase after her without risking her own life.”
It wasn’t easy for the family to leave without their beloved dog, but the scene had become like something out of a movie script and was far too dangerous for them to stay behind.
“They had to drive through walls of flames and across a burning wooden bridge to get to Mark West Springs Road and to safety,” Widen explained.
The family lost everything but mother Kathy Weaver was most upset over leaving her dog behind.
Her family wanted to try to console her in some way and decided they would try and head back to the property to see if there were any traces of Izzy.
“They lost everything, but my mom was most devastated about leaving Izzy. My brother and husband were determined to try to get back to my parents property to see if by some miracle Izzy survived,” Widen tells.
The men took a video as they finally approached the home and you could hear them panting as they made their way toward the gate.
Their property was smoldering in some areas and smoke still hung in the air. The smoke was thick so it was hard to see but all that was left of their home was a gate and a wall. The vineyards and a tractor had also made it through the fire.
Now, all that was left to do was to see if they could find Izzy. They called out to her, whistled, and clapped their hands. At the very end of the video, you hear one of the men shout out “Izzy’s here! Izzy! Hey, baby!”
The other emotionally calls out “Oh, my God. Oh my God!”
“When she came exploding out, that was an incredibly gratifying moment,” Jack Weaver told NBC News, according to TODAY. “I was so excited that I dropped the phone.”
Izzy, who had survived cancer twice, survived the fires. She was covered in soot and ash but she survived nonetheless.
“(My mom has) gone through a lot. The goal was to try to put her mind at ease one way or the other,” Jack said. “We didn’t believe (Izzy) would’ve survived.”
You can watch Jack’s emotional reunion with Izzy in the video below.
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