One survivor from Paradise who managed to escape the Camp Fire did not flee empty-handed, taking with him five neighbors and six pets as flames surrounded them.
Jacob Jones, 25, said he was just arriving home Thursday when he realized his whole street was on fire. Knowing he didn’t have much time, he raced to fill his Honda Civic with as many beings as he could fit.
First came his stranded neighbor, who piled into his car with her two young children, their four puppies and Jones’s dog Kye.
As they drove off, Jones said they didn’t he get far before he saw another friend stranded by his car on the side of the road.
“We stuffed him in my car with all of us, and he had a cat in his shirt,” Jones recalled.
Minutes later, Jones said he picked up a complete stranger hitch-hiking.
“So I had five people, five dogs and a cat in my car, and there were flames everywhere,” he said.
He managed to snap a photo of him driving with his 4-year-old neighbor Jackson on his lap.
“There were flames on both sides of the road,” Jones said.
Jones, who was staying with a relative in Milpitas, said he lost his house, as did his neighbor. But he’s glad he arrived home in time to help.
“It was amazing how we were all able to come together in one car and get out of town,” Jones said. “That’s how Paradise works.”