Charity and Mike Ruiz loaded up their vehicle and tried to flee the wildfires invading their Coffey Park neighborhood, but they got caught up in the traffic that seemed to be going nowhere. Despite the fact that she was due to deliver the family’s third child by c-section within a week, Charity knew that she must take action to ensure that her family remained safe. She left her husband in the family’s automobile and returned to her home where she got her bike with its toddler trailer.
After loading her two girls in its trailer, she started pedaling for safety. She says that she kept yelling back to ask the girls if they were OK. She pedaled to the main highway where a good Samaritan picked her up and took her to a friend’s house. The family was later reunited with Mike who had stayed with the car and the family’s processions. A GoFundMe account was established to help meet the expenses of the family who lost almost everything in the fire.
After the harrowing experience, Charity said that she was now concerned about delivering a healthy baby boy. This addition to the family would be the couple’s first boy. The hospital where she was to deliver the child was closed because of the wildfires, but a nearby hospital had volunteered their services.
Meanwhile, neighbor Natasha Wallace had a different type of problem. None of the emergency vehicles carrying people away from the wildfires were letting animals on board. Yet, Natasha was determined that she was not going to leave her pit bull behind. Therefore, she hatched a plan to get them both out of danger. She put the four-year-old dog named Bentley in a duffel bag and rode him out on her bike before a good Samaritan finally picked her up carrying her to safety.
The dedication of these two women to save their families in the face of danger is amazing. Both used bikes to make sure that the wildfire did not hurt their loved ones.