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Fighter who battled Carr Fire teaches fire safety lesson

A firefighter who battled the Carr Fire is teaching an important lesson about fire safety. Reporter Devin Fehely shares the story from San Francisco.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 2:37 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - More than a thousand people attended the fire prevention event in Menlo Park, an event with a special message coming directly out of firefighter's experience battling the Carr Fire in Redding.

The pickup survived the carr fire, where it was tossed and torched by a so-called firenado. A frightening phenomenon that's pretty much what it sounds like when a firestorm and a tornado merge.

"Probably one of the worst examples ever, 140 to 150 mile per hour winds. Fire. Tornado," Chief Harold Schapelhouman of Menlo Park Fire Department said.

Schapelhouman said the pickup is a symbol of wildfires, that is bigger burn more intensely and is more devastating and deadly than ever.

"We said what would be more powerful than to show that to people who weren't there who maybe only saw a clip on the news," Schapelhouman said. "Our message is this is what could happen."

The pickup was the centerpiece of the department's annual fire prevention event. Where peninsula families could meet firefighters and witness firsthand the daily acts of heroism they perform. Like freeing someone trapped in the wreckage of a car crash.

"Allison Jagtiani/Parent: It's fun to meet the firemen personally. And have the kids get to know them and watch them do their demonstrations of how they save people."

All proceeds from the event go to help burn survivors.

"It means getting a lot of eyes on fire prevention and what we do with survivors," Scott Wertz from Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation said. "And it means we're able to raise funding for survivors."

The Fire Chief says he didn't want the truck to end up in the scrapyard. He says it has a story and message to tell about the ever-present threat of wildfire.

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