My house borders on a wildlife refuge that is part of the East Bay Regional Park District and includes a small lake, and a river that plays host to a bird sanctuary. Yesterday I had some friends visiting and I took them out to walk the trails and show them how beautiful it is back there. We first heard crackling and then saw flames coming from across the river and saw that the fire was traveling at a fairly rapid pace. We encountered an onslaught of small animals fleeing the scene. Heartbreaking. I called 911, reported the fire, and the response was quick but they showed up on the wrong side of the river. I directed them to a small bridge and they finally made it across but by then trees were being engulfed and it has spread even further. Not long after that, an army of emergency responders arrived on the scene. We thought how horrible for the poor animals and the damage to the reserve. Little did I know what was coming later.
I was driving across the San Mateo Bridge later that evening and I saw smoke, but no flames, pouring from a limo. I got the drivers attention and indicated his car was on fire and I called 911 who transferred me to the bridge district and I reported the incident and I went on my way. On the way home going the other direction I noticed all the westbound lanes of the bridge were closed but with the with all of the emergency vehicles, and the medium partially obstructing my view I couldn't really tell what was going on. This morning when I saw the news, I was floored to find out it was a group of women traveling to a bachelorette party and five passengers died. . Now I'm wondering if the driver understood what I was trying to indicate and if there was more I could have done.
I'm fortunate that neither of these fires directly involved me personally and I'm glad I was able to maybe contribute help in both situations but I still feel horrible. Anybody have any similar experiences?