MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - An Oroville woman, whose home was nearly destroyed in the Wall Fire, reached out to Marin County firefighters with a simple phone call to thank them for their service.
Fire Chief Jason Weber decided to post the emotional voice message online and it quickly went viral with nearly 40,000 views on Facebook as of 5 p.m. on Monday.
"Chief Weber, my name is Lois. I'm calling you from Oroville California. And I'm calling to see if you can share with me the names, or the engine company and an address to write to the men and women who are up here on Mount Ida during the Wall fire.
They were on my street and they defended and helped Cal Fire. I'm sorry, I get emotional. Anyway, they saved the houses here on our street and....we would really like to thank them and, in particular, there's one engine with the name Throckmorton on it and that's one's in my neighbor's driveway and they literally fought that fire to the front door. So if there's any way you can help me get some gratitude to those people, we would really appreciate it and I know it would be sort of a closure for the people here to be able to thank them.
Sorry, I get emotional already. Anyway, thank you for sending your troops up here. We needed them."
Lois Miller nearly lost everything in the Wall Fire, a more than 6,000 acre fire that ripped through southeast Oroville like a tornado in early July.
41 homes were destroyed, but all of the houses on Miller's street were spared thanks to Butte County Fire/Cal Fire and Marin County Fire.
"t was truly a heartfelt message and I thought it was great to pass it along to the firefighters," said Chief Jason Weber.
"It was very touching. It's not that we ever want to be recognized for anything cause it's our job, but it's nice when people notice that you're out there trying to help em," said Captain John Payne of Marin Co. Fire, who was part of the strike team sent to the Wall Fire.
KTVU headed to the Throckmorton station today, which sits on top of Mount Tamalpais, to speak to two crew members who were on the front lines.
"It's nice to be appreciated, for sure. Obviously we impacted her and her community and that's what we're here for," said Captain Keith Wallace, who was on the Throckmorton Engine in Miller's neighborhood that day.
The Marin strike team was called up to the Wall Fire July 7.
On very little sleep, they fought flames for six days straight, leaving a lasting impression on the folks on Mount Ida Road, Miller's street.
We spoke to Miller by phone. When we told her that two of the firefighters from Throckmorton were listening in on the call, she broke down, saying, "I think I'm going to cry... you saved it right to the eaves. We just really appreciate you guys. I just don't know how to thank you."
"This thank you is broader than our department or that single engine company - this is is a thank you to the California Fire Service," said Chief Weber.
Miller plans to visit the Throckmorton station later this week to say thanks in person.