Horses and homeowners rescued from the flames of the 117 Fire

Posted at 12:20 AM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 02:20:42-04

As hundreds were being evacuated from the 117 Fire, Megan Wojchik with the Triple S Ranch drove into the flames… literally. 

“You couldn’t see the road in front of you, I mean the smoke was just awful and the flames were just getting closer they were hopping the dirt road, so we were just doing the best we can, we were trying to get emergency vehicles to lead us in but they couldn’t see," Wojchik said.

She and her team hooked up trucks and trailers and headed to help their friends in the mandatory evacuation zone, just like they did in the Midway Fire a few weeks back, but it didn’t come without a price. 

“The horse trailers have wooden floors and we had to drive through some flames and my trailer caught on fire a little bit, we burnt a few holes in the bottom but that can be fixed, animals are a little bit harder to replace," she said.

Luckily, they were still able to rescue at least 60 horses in danger of the fire without any injuries. 

“I mean our animals are our babies here and I can only imagine being in that situation so just happy to help," she said.

But there are still many homeowners that were forced to leave in only a moments notice. 

“This is what I got out, right here," Ken Nixon said as he pointed at his roommate.

Ken Nixon and his roommate Veronica Reyas have lived in the area for the past four years.

“This is the third fire that’s been close by to my house this year and this is the closest, I’m afraid," he said.

Reyas is disabled and unable to drive. She was home alone when the fire broke out.

“My neighbor across the street, he said it’s time to go, the flames are coming," Reyas said.

Her neighbor came in to help and brought her to safety at the Red Cross shelter set up at the Fountain Valley Baptist Church. 

“Not too concerned because I knew she was here already and I knew if she was here the dog was here, other than that, we’re good," Nixon said.

He believes their home is out of the fire’s path for now, but he has friends that weren’t so lucky. 

“One of them, I was told right here that it was actually blazing down… when they were leaving…. so I hate to think about going to see that," he said.

No word yet on when any of these homeowners will be allowed back into their homes. All mandatory evacuation orders are still in place as of late Tuesday night.