ALPINE, Calif., (KGTV)— Exactly one week ago, the West Fire reeked havoc in Alpine. According to CALFIRE, the blaze burned more than 500 acres, destroying 56 structures in its way.
Seven days later, reality is settling in for residents who witnessed the devastation. Many of them are now hoping to reach out to those who helped save their lives.
On nearly every corner of Alpine, there is a love letter— A shout out to the brave men and women who fought the West Fire.
Alpine resident, Sandy Allison remembers the moments the blaze incinerated her backyard.
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“This was all filled,” she points at her yard. “It looks like moonscape now.”
She credits God, first responders, and one more person for keeping her safe.
“This dark truck, I can’t even tell you exactly what the color of it was … He came barreling down the road, honking his horn, flings open the door, and said, “There’s a big fire! Get in,” she said.
She knew the fires were nearby. But that person helped Allison realize how close the flames really were. She had no idea who he was. But she immediately grabbed her dogs and drove off to a safe location.
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“For him to take the time to go and warn other people is really amazing to me,” she said.
For a week, she wondered about that man in the dark truck.
With the help of social media, 10News found him. His name is Kristopher Wyrick, a local mechanic. He let 10News reporter, Rina Nakano ride along on his Navy pick up, and drove through the neighborhood he was at, one week ago.
“I remember coming up toward the front of this road, and seeing nothing but fire,” Wyrick remembered.
That day, Wyrick stopped working to check on the smoke, hovering over his town. He jumped into action before firefighters arrived.
“Driving through here, just laying on the horn, because that’s probably the only thing you can do,” he said.
Many on social media are now calling him a hero— something he cannot accept.
“I would never consider myself a hero. If you have the opportunity to help, you need to help. The heroes are the people who fought these fires,” he said, humbly.
When Allison found out who the man in the dark-colored truck was, she was surprised. It turned out, Wyrick was her husband’s longtime mechanic.
“Kris, thank you so much for your bravery. Thank you for sacrificing what you needed to do for your community,” Allison said.