SANTA ROSA — When a wildfire forced her to flee her home on a bicycle early Monday morning, a California woman used a duffel bag as a makeshift sidecar for her 70-pound pit bull, according to KTXL.
“You don’t even see a resemblance of what it used to be,” said wildfire survivor Natasha Wallace. “Everything was gray, everything was destroyed and it went for miles.”
Wallace, a Santa Rosa Junior College soccer player, was studying until nearly 2 a.m. Monday. On her way home, she saw the fire from the freeway and immediately realized she needed to evacuate.
“I would never part ways with my dog. ever,” Wallace said. “That’s my ride or die. Oh my God, literally.
Wallace shoved Bentley, her 4-year-old pit bull, into her Honda and drove down the road — within minutes, she was stuck in traffic.
“(The fire) was coming faster than I could leave in traffic, so I went back and got my bike,” Wallace remembers.
She also grabbed a duffel bag which she used as a makeshift sidecar for her 70-pound best friend.
“So I grabbed my dog and I told him, ‘Hey man this is serious, you need to just sit in the bag.’ And he, he hopped right in,” Wallace said.
After she made it down the road a few miles ahead of the fire, a man in a truck pulled over and took her and Bentley the rest of the way out.
“I just want to say thank you to him. Paul Johnson,” Wallace said.
Thursday night, Wallace was reflecting on how lucky she was, not only to have survived the fire but to have people around to help.