As Joe Allen drove through the nightmarish flames that surrounded them Thursday, he thought of his young daughter in the back seat.
“Baby, it’ll be all right,” Allen sings while navigating his way through the dense smoke and embers, which drizzled atop their car like rainfall.
Saturday reports suggest northern California’s raging wildfire, named Camp Fire, has left more than 11 dead, dozens missing and destroyed more than 6,000 homes. Fires in Southern California have claimed two lives so far.
Allen and his family were among thousands forced to flee the town of Paradise, which was mostly destroyed. They took two vehicles to get away, Allen’s wife, Whitney, told Fox News affiliate KTVU. She drove with their 8-month-old daughter, Jordan, while Joe took 3-year-old Olivia.
“There’s so much fire here. We’re gonna get on fire,” Olivia can be heard telling her father in a Facebook video of their escape his wife shared Thursday that has been viewed more than 85,000 times.
“Hey, guess what? We’re not gonna catch on fire,” Allen promised his daughter, panning his camera toward the massive flames on both sides of the road. “We’re gonna stay away from it and we’ll be just fine, OK? We’re doing all right.”
Whitney Allen told KTVU that her husband’s military training helps him stay calm in high-pressure situations “He was of course worried, at one point we both thought we weren’t going to make it out,” she said.
“I can’t see my mom,” Olivia exclaims at one point, urging they go back home. Emergency vehicles can be heard racing by as Allen continues to calm his daughter, assuring her that he will stay away from the flames.
Moments later, the two emerge unscathed. The flames are gone, and the orange hue and embers that engulfed them is no longer visible.
“Look we’re past it, we’re out of it, OK?” Allen says, audibly relieved.
“You did it!” his daughter exclaims.
“We did it together,” Allen responds, before accelerating further into safety.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)